By Steve Moran

Malloree Grimes, community programs manager, Abe’s Garden, Nashville, TN

My grandpa and I were inseparable. He passed away from a massive heart attack while watching the Home Run Derby at age 77 while I was in college. He was a big baseball guy.

My favorite thing about my grandpa was his dedication to acts of service. He was an elder at his church for 35 years, very active in the community. The night before he passed away, he went and cut down a tree for a neighbor.

I used to think a lot about what it would be like when he died, trying to prepare for it. When it happened, it was awful and devastating.

That was probably my first big, real experience in grief. It was messy, and it came in waves. Watching your parents lose a parent is devastating. Hearing my dad cry like that was something I’ll never forget. It was definitely life-changing. But now I can think about him and remember mostly good memories, and it doesn’t hurt as bad.

I don’t know, I think I think I’m an old soul anyways, and his death has given me the ability to help other people walk through grief and losing a loved one.

I like to know that I’m making a difference every day.