Who is Phil Elverum? That seems to be the question on everyone's mind.
Indie music fans have probably known him for some time, but he's certainly a new name to the mainstream media, thanks to his very famous wife.
That leads us back to the original question: Who is Phil Elverum?
Phil, a singer-songwriter for Mount Eerie, met Michelle via mutual friends. It turns out, she and Phil have similar heartbreaking stories. Whereas Michelle lost the father of her child, Heath Ledger, to an overdose, Phil, too, lost someone close to him: his wife.
A widow, Phil's wife, illustrator and musician Geneviève Castrée, died from pancreatic cancer when their daughter, Agathe, was only 18 months old.
One month before her death, Phil and Geneviève announced her diagnosis on a GoFundMe page in June 2016. "She died at home with me and her parents holding her, hopefully having reached some last minute peace," he wrote on the crowdsourcing page. "It's all very sad and surreal. So much is left unfinished for her. She was a firehose of brilliant ideas that never turned off. We loved her and everything is weird now."
Like many musicians, Phil shared his heartbreak through his music, recording an album called "A Crow Looked at Me." The album, who got widespread critical acclaim, was mainly addressed to his late wife. The New York Times named it one of the best albums of 2017. Another album, titled "Now Only" was also dedicated to her memory.
Since then, he's found love again. According to Vanity Fair, Phil and Agathe, now 3, moved out of their home in Washington and drove across the country to live with Michelle and Matilda.
The fact that he and Michelle were able to keep their romance under wraps is commendable. In fact, there appears to be only one clue that perhaps something was going on. On March 24, Michelle's best friend, Busy Philipps shared an image from the March For Our Lives event in Los Angeles. Michelle is not in the image, but Phil is, standing alongside Busy's husband, Marc Silverstein.
In Vanity Fair, Michelle called her relationship with Phil "very sacred and very special."
"I never gave up on love," she said, adding that she was also looking for the kind of "radical acceptance" she felt from her ex, Heath. "I always say to Matilda, 'Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes.' "
She added, "Obviously I've never once in my life talked about a relationship, but Phil isn't anyone else. And that's worth something. Ultimately the way he loves me is the way I want to live my life on the whole. I work to be free inside of the moment. I parent to let Matilda feel free to be herself, and I am finally loved by someone who makes me feel free."