In November of 2014, my husband and I traveled to Chicago for the funeral of my sister-in-law. A mere 57 years old and a nonsmoking vegan, she had been diagnosed the previous year with small cell carcinoma–lung cancer. By autumn of the following year, she was dying.
The ride from Washington, DC to Chicago was 12 hours. We packed and departed after midnight. The wind was brisk, the type that makes you instinctively cup your hand to your eye only to realize such protection is folly. A kind person had died without warning or provocation. It was going to be dark and cold anyway.