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I hummed the words I neither felt nor familiarized with.

They all had an explanation for

why something I did not even want to believe happened was some sort of destiny. From their
mouths, poured words of faith and love for an almighty being. All I could hear was fuzziness, a
soundtrack I had been avoiding my entire life blaring in my ear. This Baptist church full of Gods
followers was something I had only heard about, but never experienced myself. I recognized a
few faces, but today they appeared differently than ever before. These familiar faces seemed
almost softer and happier, which confused me considering this took place at my grandfathers
funeral. It seemed as though this tune they sung, this spirit they rejoiced in, was some type of
euphoric endeavor leading them to freedom from worry and despair. This behavior enthused me
although I was not quite sure how to react to these ideas people were singing about.
Christianity is a religion I have neither practiced nor taken much time to learn about. My
family is not religious and has never suggested or promoted attending a church service,
therefore I have never considered it. With that being said, I heard many things for the first time
on this day. Through their words of hope and faith, I found temporary peacefulness. I felt
compassion and understanding, and less confusion and fear. Nonetheless, it was all very
temporary. As soon as we set down our hymnals, I could feel the darkness from my disoriented
original self coming back. The lump in my throat once again regained its large form and
continued to agitate me. On this day, the day we celebrated my grandfathers death, I indulged
in the beliefs of those surrounding me and set aside anything I had ever known prior to this.
The funeral was located at Antioch Baptist Church in Bolivia, North Carolina on
Wednesday April 13th. On this day, I met people I had often heard of but never seen before.
This experience drove me to open my mind more often to the beliefs of others. The impact of
attending this service was not enough to change my mind, but it was more than enough to open
it. I feel as though I have been entirely too close-minded when it comes to religion, and now that
I have had a taste of the faith others hold so close to their heart I am able to better empathize.
When I think about how these people would feel if they had no explanation, no rhyme or reason

for losing someone so dear to them, I am able to understand why they yearn so badly for
something to believe in. If every single person had felt that darkness I was feeling, I dont know
that I could have survived that day. Due to the simple fact that others were at peace with what
had happened, I was able to find a sort of serenity as well. I am thankful, for the variety of
religion among us, for if it did not exist we would all have the same thoughts and feelings.
It is with our faith that we are able to run free. It is with hope that we are able to look
forward to a new day. No matter what or who a person believes to be in charge of all bad and
good things that happen, just knowing that someone/something is watching over us is quite
relieving. I, myself, will still stand by my lack of beliefs but I will never forget that temporary
moment of euphoria. For that moment, made it possible for me to accept losing my best friend.
That moment, caused by all of those beautiful people singing to their savior, was all that I
needed to be okay.
Happiness lives in all of us. As Buddha said and Jonathan Haidt quoted, What we are
today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of
tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind. I firmly agree with this statement, for our life is
just what we choose to build and create; nothing more, nothing less. If we choose to be happy,
we may be happy. If we choose to let that happiness rely on the faith we bestow upon one
specific individual, we may go to them for happiness. All that matters is that we do not let one
specific belief define us, but instead we use that belief to further better ourselves and live the life
we yearn to live. Experiencing life is the most enriching way to really live.
For my thank you note, I have chosen the pastor who spoke for a majority of the service.
I had never made his acquaintance prior to this day and nonetheless he made me feel like one
of his own. His kind words and undeniable faith gave me reason to believe I would be alright,
and for that I am eternally grateful. Let it be known, during the funeral I did not feel quite ready
to approach anyone specifically to tell them what they had done for me. It was not until

moments after that I approached my grandmother and just simply thanked her, hoping she knew
exactly what for.