According to biographer Maury Allen, Joe was so alarmed at how Marilyn had returned to her self-destructive ways, falling in with people he felt detrimental to her (including Frank Sinatra and his "Rat Pack"), he quit his job with a military post-exchange supplier on August 1, 1962 to ask her to remarry him. But before he could, she was found dead on August 5, a probable suicide. Devastated, he claimed her body, and arranged her funeral, barring Hollywood's elite. He had a half-dozen red roses delivered 3 times a week to her crypt for the next 20 years. Unlike her other two husbands or other men who knew her intimately (or claimed to), he refused to talk about her publicly or "cash in" on the relationship. He never married again.
Joe was finally taken home on January 19, 1999. His last words, according to Engelberg, were "I'll finally get to see Marilyn."
It's sweet. The reality was probably marred with violent jealousy and making each other miserable. But the essence of the story, when boiled down to eight sentences, is sweet.
See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
I can't live, with or without you
-- With or Without You, U2