Granddaughter realizes faith brings comfort


Courtesy of Jessica Mangil

One of senior Jessica Mangili’s favorite moments was her grandfather supporting her at homecoming.

I’m shaking. The shampoo is slowly drying in my hair. I didn’t have time to wash it out before letting my locked out sister in the house, as she was sobbing and talking about an ambulance. I automatically began to think the worst — to prepare myself. Just as fast as I let the thoughts form in my head I pushed them out. There was no way my grandfather could be dead.

As I entered the hospital, the realization washed over me when I watched my father break down and sob as he attempted to tell us. I found myself reaching out to a greater being.

I have never been one to deem myself as religious.It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God, but I only went to church for weddings and funerals. Nor have I ever read the Bible. It just didn’t seem right to place an adjective on myself where I didn’t fit the mold. Yet, I often found myself consulting Him when no one was around. Asking him what to do — how to make sense of everything.

But when I witnessed my father’s break down, the questions I asked were different.

God, are you there? It’s me, Jessica.

If you’re so great, how could you let this happen?

How could you take my Papa’s last breath before I could even say goodbye?

It doesn’t make sense.

Things are supposed to happen for a reason, but why?

It just doesn’t make sense.

At this moment I wasn’t even sure if there was a God.

I found myself pondering whether anything close to a greater being was even a possibility. And if it was, why did It take my Papa away from me?

Scientifically, it isn’t. Earth started with the Big Bang. Humans evolved over millions of years as the organism began to adapt to changing environments. Logically it makes sense, but I couldn’t settle for that explanation. I wanted more. I wanted comfort. I found myself still believing in God even though he disappointed me. It isn’t that I’m okay with losing my grandfather. I’ll never be okay with it and I don’t think I will ever forgive God for taking him away from me.

But I was in search of something that provided me with that comfort.
That sense that even though I had no control over my life, somebody was there to listen to me and somebody had a greater plan for me in the future.

God doesn’t have to be one definitive concept. In reality He, She, or It is different for each person. God provides me with someone to talk to. Someone to provide me with reassurance. Someone to provide me with hope.

It doesn’t matter what you believe in as long as that belief brings you happiness. And for me, believing in something greater does just that.