Sharing Body Heat

“Sharing Body Heat” started as a blog post, then changed and developed into a longer personal essay about love and loss that I submitted to the Modern Love column of the New York Times. Modern Love rejected it.
Then I discovered Modern Love Rejects, a new website with a fabulous idea — they would publish the best of the essays that Modern Love rejected! “Sharing Body Heat” appears on their website today — read it in its entirety by clicking here.

Sharing Body Heat
by Joan Price

I crawled into Robert’s bed and wrapped my body around his. If I could only get close enough to make the last hour, the last months, disappear. If I could magically erase the despair, the finality of our separation.

I hugged Robert tightly, my own need to be close to him one more time overriding his lack of responsiveness. I wailed his name and listened to his silence, remembering his murmurs, his words of love. I nuzzled my face into his neck as I had many times before, but there was no warmth, no “I love you, sweetheart,” no kiss on the top of my head, no strong arms pulling me into him.

I covered his thigh with mine, snaking my arm under his pajama top so that I could stroke the chest hair I had first touched seven years before. I willed him to respond.

But he didn’t.

I willed him to come back to life.

But he didn’t.

 “Do you need some time alone with your husband before the mortuary takes his body away?” the hospice nurse asked me gently. I nodded, shut the bedroom door, turned off the light, and crawled into bed with Robert’s dead body….

Read the rest of this essay by clicking here.


  1. Carl on May 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Joan!

    Here's how I cautioned/encouraged my friends to read your story.

    This story is a tearjerker. It’s an account of the death of your husband, Robert. However it segues into an account of your relationship beginning with his being hard to get! Best of all, it celebrates the decade you had together with glorious sparkling prose.


  2. Erica Sloane - Author on May 25, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Thank you for sharing that wonderfully moving story.

  3. Kiri on May 24, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you for blogging about MLR and for contributing your wonderful essay. Kiri

  4. Homer on May 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Joan, I have just begun reading Better Than I Ever Expected. At 72 I can relate to what you are saying in this book. I am sorry to hear of Robert's passing as you talk about how much in love you were.

    I understand something of what you must feel since I have been there. Thank you for sharing a little of Robert with your readers.

  5. AskErica on May 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Great piece Joan. Happy to see you on MLR!

    Erica Manfred

  6. Miriam on May 21, 2011 at 3:15 am


    I was so moved by your story. I'm sitting here in tears. I love that you gave us the details of the very visceral experience of enveloping Robert after he died. Thank you thank you thank you.


  7. Samara on May 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    What a precious photo of you and Robert, Joan. Thank you for being the star of MLR today!

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