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A poet who appeared on “The Great American Baking Show” wrote a heart-breaking final journal entry about feeling “such clarity” before killing herself — after first saying “goodbye to my body” and making love one last time with her husband.
Molly Brodak, who appeared on the ABC series in 2019, detailed her final moments before her death on March 8, 2020, after she’d been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“Took a bath, said goodbye to my body,” the 39-year-old poet wrote in a final entry shared by the Los Angeles Times.
“We ate grilled halloumi and made love after dinner and watched our favorite things on TV.
“Feel like I can see everything with such clarity this morning,” Brodak wrote. “I’ve been pretending my entire life.”
Her apparent clarity and calm did nothing to help her distraught husband, Blake Butler, who shared the diary entries in “Molly,” a book about the overwhelming trauma of losing a loved one to suicide.
In it, he recalled finding his wife’s body after coming home from a run and seeing a suicide note taped to their front door in Atlanta, Georgia.
“How she’d made sure I’d be the one to go and find her body was another kind of violence on its own,” Butler writes in the book, excerpted in the LA Times.
When Brodak appeared on season three of “The Great American Baking Show” in 2019, the same year she started her home baking business, she was the most likable contestant, according to author Joseph Earp, who wrote a moving tribute after her death.
“Everyone is very humble and pleasant to each other, but Brodak displays what I see as a unique, winking enjoyment of the chaos unfolding around her — the grinning hosts, the artificial injection of high stakes,” he wrote.
However, the Detroit-born poet had long been “grappling with mental illness and a lifetime of trauma,” her husband said.
That included a troubled childhood, with her dad, Joseph Brodak, sent to prison for the first time for a string of bank robberies in 1994, when Brodak was just 13, getting busted for more in 2009.
“Molly was troubled — that was clear,” her husband writes of her struggles with mental illness that were evident event when they met in 2010, a year before she moved to Atlanta in 2011 to take part in a fellowship at Emory University, where she would later teach.
“Death always seemed to be on Molly’s mind,” Butler writes — saying that she warned him when they moved in together, “If there were ever a gun in this house, I’d end up using it on myself.”
It is unclear how Brodak killed herself. She left behind several unpublished poems, which her husband now plans to share posthumously.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.