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Mendiola was working toward a PhD in psychology, and was in the process of finalizing her dissertation proposal when fire tore through the Oakland warehouse, killing her and 35 other people attending a dance party. UC Merced awarded her the degree posthumously, and on May 14, Barmby hugged her daughter’s professors and then crossed the stage to accept the diploma and doctoral hood in her place. Related ArticlesJury selection in Ghost Ship trial set for AprilProminent Ghost Ship prosecutor resigns weeks before case goes to trialWhen Barmby returned home to Sacramento, there were plenty of reminders of her daughter’s tragically short life. Mendiola’s childhood dolls and toys adorn Barmby’s piano, and her face stares out from picture frames. Barmby sorts through those mementos several times a week, an experience she calls a “sweet, sad kind of thing.” She wants to make a scrap book commemorating Mendiola’s life, but so far, it’s been too hard.

“She’s still there,” Barmby said, “She will always be part of me and my husband.”, — Marisa Kendall, Amanda Kershaw, Every new milestone Amanda Kershaw’s family reached this year, even the most joyous — a new baby — was a struggle, Life went on after they lost the 34-year-old photographer in the Ghost Ship fire last December, But she missed it, and that was the hardest part, “I don’t know that it hurts less, to be honest with you,” said her brother, 31-year-old Chris Allen where to buy freed pointe shoes of Chelmsford, Mass, “I think it’s more just about learning how to cope with it.”..

Allen’s birthday fell three months after the Ghost Ship fire, and the day passed without the typical call from his sister, whom he says was one of his closest friends. A few months after that, his second child was born, and Allen realized both the little boy and his now two-year-old daughter would grow up without knowing their Aunt Amanda. To cope with their grief, Allen’s two brothers and their parents — who all live near each other outside of Boston — have made it a priority to get together regularly, for everything from birthday celebrations to fall trips to the pumpkin patch.

“We definitely in the last year have spent a lot more time together,” Allen said, “I think that’s helped a lot, We all live off humor, so I think getting us all together to work through the emotions of this, but also to kind of carry on, I think has helped.”, — Marisa Kendall, Ben Runnels, He may have perished a year ago alongside his friends and musical partners, but to his family, 32-year-old Ben Runnels isn’t gone, He’s still here in the music he left behind — electronic tracks so intricate you have to listen to them with headphones to fully appreciate the layers where to buy freed pointe shoes of sound, And he lives on through his friends and favorite hang-outs, which his sister, Erin, is now frequenting as a way to stay close to him..

The 30-year-old, who is also an artist, used to call or text her brother every day. After he died, she packed up her life and traveled from Asheville, North Carolina to Oakland, moving in with one of his close friends. Rick Runnels, meanwhile, is comforted by his son’s continued spiritual presence in his life. Ben came to Runnels while he slept — an experience so vivid Runnels knew it wasn’t just a dream. “That actually makes the whole thing a little bit easier,” Runnels said. “He’s still here. He’s still around.”.

That father-son connection is especially strong when Runnels, also a musician, strums the guitar Ben left behind, “I’m sure when i pick up his guitar and start playing one of his songs,” Runnels said, “he’s aware of it.”, But what Runnels hopes will be Ben’s most enduring legacy, is change, He hopes Ben’s death, and the deaths of the other 35 Ghost Ship victims, will raise awareness in Oakland and beyond about the plight of the nation’s underappreciated artists, who are struggling to get by, forced to live and create in the margins — sometimes in where to buy freed pointe shoes unsafe buildings..

“We as a society have got to change our perspective,” Runnels said, “and start learning to appreciate these people.”. — Marisa Kendall. After Em Bohlka got married and moved out of the house, she and her father Jack Bohlka kept in close touch by texting each other funny or interesting things. They both loved the writer Kurt Vonnegut and he knew Em loved the artwork of Edward Gorey. Recently he saw a great drawing by Gorey of a cat with an umbrella and thought, ‘I gotta show Em this.’.

“I’m sure Em had seen where to buy freed pointe shoes it before, but it was super cool and I wanted to text it to her,” Bohlka said, “Even after a year, I catch myself.”, The little pieces from life that they shared with each other is what Bohlka misses about his daughter, After she died, Bohlka went through a trying several months, He spoke with a therapist and got support from friends and family, both his and his daughter’s, Em’s long-range plans were to move to New York and get involved with the fight for transgender rights, For a while, he thought about how he could continue the mission that his daughter had started. Bohlka is a professional photographer and although he wasn’t ready at first, he has now started photographing people in different stages of their transition, Em started hormone therapy for her transition in late September, and was nervous in front of the camera and in public, sensitive to how she was presenting herself..

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