Sitting in an empty room near the bar at the Chateau Marmont hotel here on a Friday afternoon this month, Mr. Oswalt, 47, recounted what happened next the way a detective exhaustively details a case he has been running over in his mind.
After getting up early, he helped his daughter, Alice, get dressed, packed her lunch and drove her to school, then picked up a cup of his wife’s favorite coffee. Back home, he went to their bedroom, where she was snoring. He gently placed the Americano on a bedside table. It was 9:40 a.m.
Mr. Oswalt went to his home office, answered emails, did two phone interviews and noticed some sad news online: Prince had died. He shot off a series of tweets and returned to his bedroom to find his wife still in bed. She wasn’t breathing. It was 12:42 p.m. When the paramedics arrived, they pronounced her dead.
Her death was so shocking that Mr. Oswalt refused to believe the scene in front of him. In tears, he clung to the notion he was living a nightmare, trying to will himself awake. “I was literally blinking trying to get out of this,” he recalled.