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In the span of the four-hour journey, Ben reveals himself to be the funniest person I’ve ever met. Mostly, though, he’s mourning: He constantly talks—and jokes—about his father’s death. The entire time, really, everyone is talking—and joking—about death. Alyssa’s in the front seat, cracking sweet one-liners and offering advice that grew out of her tragic loss. She’s responsible for bringing us all together, and she loves her role. Matt’s in the back with me, discussing the pillows his mom used to make for sick babies.

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