The number of years Josephine Goodman was with us until her life was abruptly ended.
At 22, Josephine had touched the lives of so many around her. Those who were lucky enough to cross her path loved her instantly. Josephine loved back with a fierceness most had not experienced. Josephine’s love for those close to her lifted us out of dark days and made the already bright days memorable. With Josephine gone a piece of our soul is missing; it’s playing happily with Josephine (wherever she may be) and with likely a plethora of animals.
15 years old.
Fifteen years into Josephine’s life her demons became more evil and unbearable.
Josephine’s laugh and smile were contagious. It was common for her to be laughing on the floor at herself for falling over a shoe or loving on a cute kitty as her eyes watered and her skin broke out in hives. Allergies did not matter to Josephine when it came to animals. Although her love for those around her often seemed to be what guided her in life, Josephine battled with herself internally on a daily basis. On a bad day, Josephine often needed the comfort of friends or family to help her battle the demons away. The thing with demons is, while they can hide and lay dormant for a while, they seem to haunt you at your most vulnerable times.
10 pm was the time Josephine came to the rescue of a 24-pound kitty.
Bobo was a sweet cat who unfortunately suffered from feline leukemia. Her pregnant owner could not care for Bobo in the way he needed and so enlisted the help of a tiny girl in goggles and a facemask. Josephine was allergic to cats, often breaking out in hives, sneezing and overall feeling miserable. But there was a cat in trouble. Josephine arrived looking like a veterinary superhero, dressed up in goggles, gloves, and a facemask. She lovingly syringe-fed Bobo the kitty, petting him and cooing to him. Josephine gently bathed Bobo, who was not able to walk. She lovingly lay next to him on the cold bathroom floor for more than an hour whispering everything would be ok. Josephine poured all her love and kindness into that moment.
June 19th, 2016
It was a beautiful summer solstice weekend in Alaska and throughout the nation.
Summer solstice spoke to Josephine on a spiritual level and so she went out to enjoy the festivities happening in our city. At this point in Josephine’s life, her demons had been baiting her almost constantly and Josephine tried to fight them away with alcohol, requiring more and more to get her through each day. As the sun was setting, an inebriated 22-year-old fashionista wanted to be closer to the sky to get an unobstructed view of the sun setting. Josephine made her way to the top of a 7 story building, barely able to stand. She climbed her way onto the railing taking in the beautiful sight, her spirit feeling full; the demons at bay for the time being. It was in that moment alcohol and demons pushed Josephine off the railing where her body fell and her spirit rose. Her friends and family will never again be able to hear her laugh, or see her smile as she walked through the door. The hundreds of lives she touched are now missing a vibrant light in their heart. The dreams Josephine had to incorporate her love of helping animals and her love of massage would be unrealized. The world became a little less bright the day alcohol and depression took Josephine’s life.
One minute represents so much.
For those who knew Josephine, they pray and wish for just one more minute with her. One more minute of ‘awwing’ over baby animals. One more minute to feel fiercely loved by her. One more minute to remind her how much she is truly loved by everyone who has met her. One minute to turn back time, to hold Josephine’s hand and lead her off the ledge of the building. To hold Josephine and say ‘we will get through this together. One minute could bring her back to us. One minute changes your world.
If you read about Josephine and it has touched you, we ask that you donate to her scholarship fund so that “Josephine’s Dream” may become a reality for someone and for all the animals they will help. If you share her passion for life and animals, we encourage you to apply for the scholarship. Eligible candidates will need to go into the field of animal care and be ready to explain what you envision for your career path. How will you change the world of those around you?
Josephine’s Dream will provide scholarships to worthy students (graduating high school seniors or post-secondary students) pursuing a career in animal care, focusing but not limited to veterinary programs and certificates. The application is open to students from middle-income families, who are not likely to receive financial aid from other sources. The scholarship is open to students from all states, although Alaskan students will be given preference.
To donate to Josephine’s dream, please click the link below. If you wish to make a donation of less than $25 or to donate via check or cash, please contact us at:
The Alaska Community Foundation
3201 C Street, Suite 110
Anchorage, AK 99503
Please make checks payable to: “The Alaska Community Foundation” and write “Josephine’s Dream” in the memo.