You will break. But oh, you will also heal.
Molly Senecal writes on grief, suicide, loss, and social issues impacting women. Her works include a variety of writing styles from flash nonfiction, poetry, essays, and reaction pieces. As a deaf woman, she draws from the extraordinarily descriptive and conceptual nature of sign language to color her work.
Senecal holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, and doctorate degree from the University of California, Davis. She is a dean at a community college in Northern California, and in addition to writing, she finds solace in photography, and trail running in the Sierra mountains.
Why do I do this?
- Because my daughter died of suicide.
- Because trauma has shaped my life, shaped me as a woman.
- Because our society (still) does not know how to talk about loss and grief. We do not know how to hold loss without blame, denial, and shame.
- Because writing is how I survive. When I write, and when I read what others have written, then I can breathe through the words.
The name of this site, Tiny Ferocious Things, comes from an essay I wrote earlier about Eve. I’ll save the essay for another post, but the last line of this piece is, Maybe, I think, there is beauty in the small, the awkward, and the ghastly. Maybe there is hope in the tiny ferocious things. Many of the posts on this site are about topics that are uncomfortable, awkward, and – yes – ghastly, but I think there is hope and beauty in the act of sitting with grief and trauma with our eyes wide open. The act of writing is the act of being broken over and over again, but it is only through being broken that we can also heal.
The story of the scales, which I use as the logo for this site, is the story of Gwendolyn the bearded dragon. Or Gwen for short. Those of you who knew Eve – you knew how fiercely she treasured that pancake-shaped lizard. She believed Gwen was the most beautiful thing on earth. Gwen was a permanent fixture in our lives – she went with us everywhere and even made a cameo appearance in Eve’s senior pictures. It seemed apt to create a logo that represents this kind of pure and unconditional love for a small thing that most of the world does not find beautiful.
I write from what I know. Sometimes I explore creative avenues with my writing, but everything I write has its roots in a truth that I hold. My truth may not be the same as your truth – and that is okay. I think engaging in authentic expression and discourse are critical for us to process loss and trauma as a society, and as individuals. I believe there is power and redemption in telling your story, as you understand it.