Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Patton Oswalt says he chose to remarry after finding "a new level of joy."
The 48-year-old actor and comedian explained in an interview with People published Thursday why he wed Meredith Salenger 18 months after wife Michelle McNamara's sudden death.
"It feels like an evolution," he said of tying the knot with Salenger this month. "After the darkness, I went through all the ways I had to strengthen myself to try to recognize joy again. Meredith was a beacon I had to reach for."
Oswalt and Salenger connected on Facebook following McNamara's death at age 46 in April 2016. The couple quickly fell in love after meeting in person, with McNamara also bonding with Oswalt's daughter and McNamara's family.
"It just felt like worlds were connecting and everything was okay again," the actor said. "We're still floating on this other level that we've been on since the day we met."
"I've only ever felt that level of joy once before in my life, and it was so profound and perfect it felt greedy to ever wish for it again," he added. "This is a new level of joy, and a new life, and I'll always strive to deserve it."
Oswalt, who welcomed daughter Alice with McNamara in 2009, got engaged to Salenger in July. He responded the same month to critics who said he was moving on too quickly from his 10-year marriage to McNamara.
"I expected some bitter grub worms to weigh in (anonymously, always always always) with their much-needed opinions when I announced my engagement last week. And I decided to ignore them. But yeah, I felt this rage," he wrote, including a link to the essay "A Widow's Rage Defense Against Patton Oswalt's Engagement" by Erica Roman.