Maya Brooks Griswold

Maya Brooks Griswold

Extreme, passionate, loved, goofy

As a child, Maya, and her sisters Zoe and Bryn were very close. They did typical sibling things like walking to Blockbuster to rent movies, loading up on junk food at 7-11, and then staying up all night talking. Maya was great at tennis and won many championships throughout high school. She and Zoe spent many nights searching for quarters in the laundry so they could turn on the lights at the tennis courts and stay up playing and talking about life. After school, they played dance video games until they were doubled over in laughter at each other’s horrendous moves.

Maya’s sisters remember fondly how Maya would get up earlier than everyone else on Christmas mornings and wake them to open presents. They could always count on Maya to hoard candy during the holidays because she was obsessed with candy. She was always acting goofy and making SpongeBob and zombie impersonations to make people laugh.

As Maya grew up, she developed a love for music, especially Led Zeppelin, the group she named her pug Zeppelin after. She also enjoyed writing and had a passion for making the world a better place. For a period, she traveled with the Thirst Project, speaking at schools across the U.S., to raise funds for wells to be built around the world. Maya also had a soft spot for animals, and after graduating high school she became a licensed dog groomer.

Maya was a best friend to many, but her favorite people were her friends Sean, Anna, and Sofia. Maya had a knack for getting people to open up and feel safe around her. They knew she would do anything for the people she loved, and it was an honor to have her by your side. She was what her friends would describe as a fearless, kind, and goofy woman. Even when she was going through her own troubles, she helped her friends through their substance use disorders and depression.

Zoe said that as her sister’s disease progressed, she cared for other people more than herself. The hardest part was having to worry constantly about Maya and doing wellness checks every night. Though Maya’s death left her family with a lot of guilt and grief, it helped bring her sisters closer and more empathetic about others going through similar situations. What Zoe misses most are Maya’s daily calls to check up on her, and the way she would give her advice, even about silly things. Zoe said, “Maya was the kindest person I know, and she inspired our family greatly. She left a mark on all of us.”

Maya’s sister, Zoe Griswold, provided information for this narrative.
September 25, 2000–August 14, 2020-Age 20

Portrait Artist: Shawn Faust
Narrative Writer: Victoria Estes

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