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Utah family finds, lives out daughter's bucket list after she dies in car crash

(Family photo)

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A Utah family has chosen to celebrate the life of their 23-year-old daughter by living out her dreams after she was killed in a car crash.

It turns out Makenna Goodwin of Saratoga Springs wrote many of those wishes down as a bucket list.

"She was beautiful, vibrant and happy," said Makenna's mother, Rebecca Goodwin.

Loving, kind and accepting were words that Rebecca and Chris Goodwin used to describe their daughter.

"Even if you didn't know Makenna, she loved you anyway," said Chris.

Every day has been a battle since they lost her.

"No parent should ever have to bury a child," said Chris.

While on her way to work on Feb. 19, 2021, the 23-year-old was killed in a car crash.

"Every day is difficult," said Chris. "Some days, we just don't even want to get out of bed, but Makenna wouldn't want that — she wants us to live our lives and experience everything to the fullest every day."

There's no list to follow grieving, but Makenna's brother Bronson found a list she made that has helped the family out.

"It's just a bunch of simple things, like build a fort," said Bronson. "You can do that in your basement!"

The family has decided to do the summer bucket list in her honor, and they've invited others to join on social media.

"Kinda a wake-up call I hope people see," said Bronson. "You don't have tomorrow owed to you at all. You can be gone in two days. How do you want your life to show how you lived? That's what this bucket list is about."

"You know when it happened, you just don't feel like you'll be happy ever again," said Chris. "You almost feel guilty for being happy, and experiencing joy. And that's been kind of the grieving process — it's all right to be happy, it's all right to have fun."

The Goodwins are carrying on Makenna's legacy, knowing that she's with them every step of the way.

"Family is the most important thing. We just want people to treasure each other," said Rebecca. "Love more deeply. Laugh more often. Those are the things that you will look back on when those people are gone and you will be so grateful and just love those memories."

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Morgan Wolfe


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