Caetano Key

In Memoriam, our beloved Caetano Key

Thank you to the over 2500+ people that have visited this memorial page, and the many 100s of you that have sent us texts, emails, flowers, food, cards, and hugs and thoughts in many other forms. We have not planned any future memorials/gatherings. We intend to schedule a San Francisco bay area gathering of some sort so we can be with our friends and family in California, after the coronavirus-pocalypse has ebbed. . Thank you — Cristina, Carlos, Forest

Our beloved son Caetano passed away the morning of Feb 29th – leap year day, of 2020. It was a brutal shock to his family and friends. None of us were ready to say goodbye and had plans for many more decades of him in our lives. He will be in our hearts, always.

Caetano will be remembered as the funniest, cutest, silliest, most stylish guy in the room, with a philosopher’s mind and an artist’s soul. He saw life from a perspective not shared by many–he always surmised the heart of a situation while others will still observing the surface. His thoughts traveled fast and we worked hard to keep up with him, knowing that his curiosity would outpace our caution constantly. He learned to perform early on, donning costumes and playing a part from kindergarten onward. He took his skills to the stage first in elementary school, trying out improvised magic/comedy and stand-up in the talent shows. Performances included camps at Greenlake Bathhouse Theater and school plays at Billings and Roosevelt High. His brother Carlos featured him in several short films that went on to win awards. In a Roosevelt playwriting class, he developed a short piece performed by students about the feeling of isolation caused by anxiety and paranoia. He loved cosplay crossdressing and started drifting his attention to fashion. He also enjoyed photography and music, composing a little for fun.

Caetano spent a winter camping in wilderness in Bend, Oregon in 2018-19 for about three months, as part of a rehabilitation for troubled teens. It kickstarted a year of tremendous growth for the whole family, but especially his parents, who started to examine the origins of their emotional dynamics and learned a lot about communicating, which starts with listening. We will always be indebted to Caetano for opening our minds and our hearts and for helping us start to learn. After Caetano’s time outdoors, which he ultimately loved because of its challenges, he went to a therapeutic boarding school. We were so relieved to get him out and back in our lives just as summer was about to begin last year.

Life with Caetano has been a whirlwind. We laugh, we yell, we cry, we share dream interpretations, we laugh. The kid seriously loves video games–he is so good at them. These last few months he attended Nova High School, an alternative school full of interesting creative kids. As his boyfriend Elliot said, he loves Nova, but not the actual school part. Caetano was just too free. He cherished freedom and autonomy. But not more than love. The guy loved love. He told some of us that the meaning of life was to make people happy, and that love was the most important thing. Mission accomplished, Caetano.

Caetano was a victim of the national opioid crisis that has afflicted our country. Street purchased pills that turned out to be a lethal dose of fentanyl, led to his untimely death. Thank you, big pharma (not)! He was at home with people that loved him, and whom he loved dearly. A very tragic end to his life may be a gift to other lives, as he will be an able organ donor to others in need. It gives our family great solace that others might be helped by his body. His spirit is now one with the universe.

Caetano was born a 4th generation San Franciscan after his father, his grandfather, and his great grandfather. He was named after Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso which fits with his Latin X heritage. His Gomez and Marquez family hail from Mexico; the Keys from Jewish tribes in eastern europe, the Calbreaths from Scotland, and Rodriguez from the Azores in Portugal. He is survived by immediate family brother Carlos, parents Cristina and Forest; grandparents Esther, Jane, Dennis, and Kay; uncles/aunts Jaime, Joanna, Andy, Laura, Santiago, Marla, Tiffany, Joaquin, Roberto; cousins Lucas, Emilio, Andrea, Nyla, Will, Camila, Ava, Esteban, and Maya; best friend Elliot. He will be cremated and his ashes planted under a strong tree on family land in California.

Our family is still figuring out how and when we will hold any memorial services, we will post updates here and through family on social media.

When we had an interview with the organ donor organization that will be trying to find lucky recipients for Caetano’s vessel parts, one of the required questions was which countries Caetano had visited or lived in. It took us nearly 10 minutes to document the many places we visited as a family, and that he experienced with some study abroad programs. Caetano lived in Chile (Pisco Elqui, and Chicureo) and Beijing China for 3 years. He visited his favorite country, Japan, 5 separate times, and collected manga and j-culture curios. Family trips to Korea, Malaysia, Argentina, Spain… wonderful heritage trips to Mexico… a summer program in Peru. An extended France, Netherlands, UK trip with his grandfather Emilio. Many, many wonderful moments together. He was worldly, culturally woke, and adventurous. Mom and dad will never forget giving him a subway pass and watching him head off to the Tokyo subways for the day to explore Harajuku and Akihabra fashion and the latest cosplay trends.

Cawos and tano were very close…

Carlos’s post on instagram had many lovely reply’s and comments from friends who knew him. You can read the thread on instagram.

Caetano loved his family and sought more time and connection with all of his uncles and cousins. Seattle was far from California…

Collage of “photos with dad” for a school project.

With Dennis and Kay in San Luis Obispo, Emilio in Zapallar Chile, Jane in Yucatan Mexico, Esther and Celso in Ontario CA.

Please share or give a shout out!

Our family and Caetano would love to hear your thoughts, memories, or memes (he loved memes), please leave a comment below. Here are some photos shared by others with us, i’ll add them as we receive:

Caetano Key, 2003-2020
Organ donation success, yay! Your welcome, universe!

99 replies on “Caetano Key”

So true….he is one with the universe…love and more love for you Caetano…may you laugh and dance forever!!!!

Forest, I’m just devastated to learn of your loss. I can’t even imagine what you are all going through. I’m sorry I never met Caetano. From your tribute, he clearly was an incredible soul and a light in the world. My heart goes out to you all. Bisa

What a beautiful, bittersweet tribute to a soul lost way way too soon. My favorite memory of Caetano was the “samples” incident from Haarlem. Makes me smile just thinking about it. May you be at peace and know that we love you.

All of the family mourn the loss of Caetano. He was such an exceptional person who brought so much joy to so many people, including his great-grandmother, Bess.
We remember his as a vibrant, fun-loving little boy. Our hearts go out to Cristina, Forest and Carlos. Love, Jackie and Jerry

Thanks for creating this lovely word-and-picture memorial. Tano was a powerful and beautiful spirit and I will never forget him.

We loved Caetano, send Carlos, Cristina, Forest, family and friends our deepest heartfelt care in processing the grief of the profound loss of Caetano’s presence on this Earth, encouragement to find strength and resilience, sending much positive energy, knowing that the community is coming together to embrace one another in knowing that Caetano’s spirit lives on. I’ll never forget Caetano’s dynamic energy as the kids grew up together running through the garden, climbing stairs/rocks/trees, playing video games, the energetic surprises when the connections would flow as if no time had passed after the too long breaks between our get togethers, maturing into young adults navigating their way through this crazy world. We hold you each in our prayers and thoughts. The universe is a better place because of Caetano. Love always

Cristina, Forest, and Carlos,

Love and prayers from the Smith family. Thank you for sharing Caetano with us. I am overcome with sadness upon learning of his passing but I am also grateful to have witnessed the joy he brought into your life.

Thank-you for sharing such personal stories honoring Caetano- grieving together helps all of us- tears are not enough – I love you all so much- sending you love and prayers
Tia Marie

Of course there are no words that can really do justice to the loss. So many memories of growing up with your family one that comes to mind is meeting Caetano as a young adult after he came back from winter camping and connecting with him over art. so sad his visit with us in this life was so short short

Qué lindos recuerdos!!! todo mi amor y energía desde Chile para esta excepcional familia! Love you all; Forest, Cristina y Carlos… Caetano vivirá siempre en nuestros recuerdos. Tata-Bear estará cuidando de él.

Our hearts are saddened by your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you, Teresa and Family.

So incredibly painful for those of us who know this beautiful and loving family.

May Caetano’s memory be a blessing
Livracha B’racha

I love you all, and my spirit is cracked with the loss of Caetano, and my heart hurts for all of you. The thing I always thought about him, is how “seen” I felt overtime we spent time. Even when he was young, he possessed the gift looking people in the eye and being in that moment with them. He taught me a lot when we gathered to play one of his favorite board games. Really words do nothing to ease the pain, but I want to say that I feel honored and grateful to have been able to spend time, and to am proud to be called “Auntee” you are loved sweet boy. Love Auntee Tiff

Que emocionante leer tantas cosas lindas sobre Caetano. Todo lo que escribió Forest, Carlos y los demás comentarios se los re contra merece Caetano. Ver todas las fotos que Caetano aparece contento me trae puros buenos recuerdos.
God bless Caetano and look after Cristina, Forest and Carlitos in these awfully sad and hard times

Christina, I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart hurts for you. I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you how much I love you. I would like to tell you that everything would be OK but that’s not true. You’ll miss him forever but he is still there in your heart. If you listen very carefully you’ll hear his laugh and feel his presence. Uncle Tony is there to greet him and keep him safe. Love you always, Aunt Patsy

Aunt Patsy a couple weeks ago I had a dream that Caetano was a little boy and a uncle Tony was looking after him. They had played and Tony let C be himself. I felt very peaceful when their time together was over. —Cristina

I love him so much. It feels like the air I attempt to breathe has been stripped of oxygen. Caetano has this way of looking at the world like it was somehow more beautiful through his eyes, and if only we could borrow his eyes and see for ourselves, we would understand. He and I got up to a lot of mischief together, but we took care of each other for the most part, and when it came down to it, that’s all that really mattered. The way he looked at me when I spoke made me feel like there was nothing and nowhere he would rather be or do, than sit with me in that moment- or any moment for that matter. He was an important person in my life for the past 5 years who always would help me through my struggles, and I’d do my best to help him through his. I miss him so much, and it feels impossible sometimes, but i know he’s with me. He comes and visits my dreams sometimes, and I know it’s actually him not just my imagination because I’m one I asked him, “what’s going on??” And he replied “I dunno this is your mind, I’m just here visiting.” That helps me so much. He was my boyfriend, but above all else we were best friends, and I’ll never stop loving him.

I am so sad for the tragic passing of my nephew Caetano Key. It is incomprehensible that he left us so soon, so suddenly. My heart wrenches whenever I think of it. I’m so sorry that I didn’t get to know him more, that I didn’t spend more time with him and that now I’ll never get the chance to. What heights he might’ve hit will never be known, but without a doubt, he made a huge impact on everyone around him in his short time here. I just wish I could’ve had more time with his magic. Love you and miss you Caetano 🖤✨🔥

Caetano is an incredible young person ready to dive into matters of the heart and mind like few I’ve had the honor to meet. I loved how he would jump onto the couch and toss his shoes off ready to contemplate issues of trust, love, belonging, love, fear ,love, pain, responsibilities, friends, fun, drugs, love, hate, rehab, love, family, challenges, identity, deep connection, love,friendship, romantic intimacy, independence, sex, life and taking risks. I say is because I have no doubt a spirit like Caetano’s is soaring onward and upward to see what else exists beyond the mystery of what we know…in this body on this earth in the form we were blessed to know and learn from him …he is missed beyond what words could convey . The shock of losing him so fast and so young is still occurring. My heart and prayers are with him, his family, loved ones, the communities it takes to raise a child and be human. May we be inspired by Caetano’s desire to understand and his insatiable curiosity to have the courage to take actions tiny and huge to stand up against harm and help each other love ourselves and one another other …

i can’t believe that caetano is gone!!!! i still don’t think i’ve fully processed it! i would see caetano once a year if i was lucky, but i always knew he was an extremely bright, loving, and creative person! caetano and i had a special bond since we both are misunderstood kids with a big loving heart and a knack for creativity. i loved his taste in fashion and humor. there will never ever be anybody like caetano ever again, he was 1/1 and i will forever miss him. i feel sick that i have to type a message like this for caetano, but i know wherever he is he is laughing and creating something. i shall never ever ever forget my little cousin and i’m going to keep his vision alive in my music and artwork from this moment forward. I LOVE U FOREVER CAETANO

Dear Forest,

I’m Pablo Rivas. I worked with you and buuteeq LATAM as IT and DNS in Santiago, Chile and I had the pleasure to be part of one of the company that changed my life forever. In my name and all part of my friends there (buuteeq sales team and Vivian), we send you strength and sorry for your loss.

It not exist a party, meeting or barbecued with our buuteeq friend’s where we don’t remember our experiences and good time there. Thank to you, today exist a big friendship and family that is keeping in touch until today.

We are with you.

Best regards.


Es una tremenda pena leer esto y enterarme de esta perdida, te mando un gran abrazo y muchas fuerzas para toda tu familia.

Forest tu eres una persona muy importante en mi vida que me ayudo en muchas cosas, y realmente es una pena que algo asi pasara, pero la vida es muy rara y uno nunca sabe lo que nos espera.

Mucho amor para ti y tu familia, lo digo nuevamente por que lo siento de verdad !

un gran abrazo y quizas algun dia nos vemos nuevamente.

“I hate reality, cuz its not real”- caetano key.
caetano key was my closest friend. he was so alive when he was its hard to picture him in a state of not. but the thing is hes not really gone. i feel his presence constantly and each day is getting more and more meloncholic in state with the idea of him in physical form being lost and spiritually more alive than ever. i will continue to memorialize him in all that i do and carry on the many dreams we had. through the months of sitting in the bathroom stalls with him dope sick he was always joking. we. were always joking. he saw it coming we both did. but did we really. i dont know im still. i dont know. i miss him.

To Forest, Cristina and Carlos,
I never met Caetano and wish I had. He definitely was a young man who marched to his own drummer. He enjoyed being different characters when most of us are trying to understand who we’re supposed to be in this life. It’s troubling to see such a talented young life leave us. I have felt his loss deeply so I can only imagine what you must be feeling. Cristina, I love you.

Bosque and family,
I am so very sorry for your tragic loss. This memoriam in Caetano’s is so very beautiful, extraordinary and meaningful. Thank you for sharing these photos and memories of your amazing and loving son, Caetano. I am filled with sadness and grief for you and your beautiful family. But to see and celebrate the love he had for his family is truly beautiful. The reflections from brother Carlos are both beautiful and heartbreaking. Love, love, love.

Sending you so much love and so many prayers during this time.

Meredith Collura Applegate

I am deeply sorry for your lost Forest. I remember when you told me your son was named after a Brazilian singer. He looked like a great artistic cool kid. May you find comfort with your loved ones in this hard time . All my love to you and your family.

Hello. I am so so sorry for your loss. I was Caetanos Reception teacher at WAB. I thought about him over the years. I remember him well as so creative, imaginative, and very bright with an amazing mind. My sincere condolences to your family. Jacqueline Hall McNalty x

Querida Cristina, querido Forest y querido Carlos,
Le ruego a todas las fuerzas del universo que Caetano descanse en paz y que los cuide a uds 3 que valen todo el oro del mundo. También rezo para que la pena que tienen y que van a tener sea la fuente de un amor eterno entre uds 3.
Los quiero mucho

Caetano may have moved on from this world, but his love will always exist, always. A boy that filled with love, and the love that surrounds him will never pass! Much love to you all!

C-Man! I miss you already so much buddy. My primo, you challenged me to look at life in a different light. We had completely different interests but we could talk about life or just laugh and be silly. I will always cherish those times when we would laugh together. Your laugh was just pure, so genuine… I can hear it now.
Forest, Tina, and Carlos sending you all of my love to you all in this time. I love you all soo much 💛💙

Too many leave us too early. But the gifts they gave us will live on in our hearts.
Sending you our sincerest condolences and love.
Lisa, Steve & Elizabeth

Dear Cristina, Forest and Carlos,
We are deeply sorry for your loss. We loved Caetano and we will miss him terribly!
Please know that we are your family and we are here for you always.

So incredibly saddened to read this news and for your loss. Sending prayers, light, and love to you all…and, especially, for your sweet boy.

Forest, Tina & Carlos, I’m so sorry for your unimaginable pain. What a beautiful tribute to a special soul. I remember Caetano as funny, creative and full of enthusiasm. Akal. I’m holding all of you in my heart. Love and hugs ❤️t

Christina, Forest and Carlos, We are heartbroken for you and sending love and hugs. From an early age, Caetano was an eager and inquisitive boy with a thirst to learn. I’m so sorry and thinking of you all. My heart is heavy. I know he left a real imprint in this world and his spirit will live on forever. ❤️

Dear Cristina, Forest, and Carlos, What a Beautiful tribute to beautiful, creative, funny, and special Caetano! I enjoyed every minute I was around him! My heart goes out to all of you and I’m sending you all of my love!❤️

I wrote a message to you guys on FB but I want you to know how heartbroken I am for you. Such a beautiful boy. Such a beautiful family. I’ve know Forest since he was 2 so I still feel connected to him. He’s always family to me. Please know I’m thinking of you guys and feeling for you. Much love and healing… Bernie C

How lucky we were to share even a moment with the magical Caetano. ❤️
Our hearts weep at his loss. ❤️
His memory lives on in all of us ❤️

Cristina- I’m so very, very sorry to hear about your loss. What an immense loss to the rest of your family and maybe especially his brother. Prayers and condolences to you, your husband, Carlos and your entire family. Sounds like he touched a lot of lives during his short time here on Earth. May he rest in paradise.

What a beautiful tribute. It’s bittersweet to see the wonderful pictures of Caetano, the Keys, friends and extended family. It was a privilege to meet Caetano as a classmate of my daughters in 6th grade. My first question was, “Caetano, like Caetano Veloso? YES!” He reminded me of my best friend from high school. Caetano was so alive, feeling, experiencing, questioning, smart, funny and creative. Where most people easily slip into being cogs in a machine, Caetano would question the machine, it’s validity, how it made people cogs and present an alternative vision, and thankfully, resist becoming a cog. That speaks to his wonderful humanity. I’m sure it could be a curse and blessing, but it was definitely something he had in spades. It’s easy to function in our society if you are a cog, not so easy if you are alive, feeling, questioning and creative. Bless you Caetano for being that way and for the bravery you demonstrated in living that way. It is so hard to accept the reality of what happened when his aliveness resonates so profoundly. It is a wake up call to appreciate the preciousness of humanity, aliveness and life. Thank you Caetano for living and sharing your gifts.

I’m so sorry you lost your beautiful Caetano…….he was just too big to be contained in this world. The silence is going to be overwhelming, but your family is amazing and resilient. I know good will come from this tragedy.

My heart is broken wide 💔and open. The love I have for your family is limitless.
May you be surrounded by ❤️ always.

Dearest Cristina and Forest,

We cannot begin to express how devastated, heartbroken, and sorry we are for this unbelievable loss… for you both, for Carlos, and for your entire family. Caetano’s energy, personality, and magic are apparent not only in the photos and stories above, but in the way that you both have spoken about him to us. You guys are true examples to us both. We just want you to know how much we are thinking of you both and Carlos, and how deeply sorry we are for this immeasurably profound loss.

Julie and Alejandro

When Eli and I reminisce about our great times in Beijing, Caetano always come to mind. Never forgotten!!! Our thoughts are with you, Carlos and Forest. Take care.

Christina, Forest, Carlos— Thank you for the gorgeous tribute to Caetano. Your love for him is inspiring …so apparent and steadfast…as bright and creative as the love that emanated from him. You are a wonderful family! I am sending you great waves of love and aloha and may they buoy your way forward as you navigate your ships through the rough waters. ❤️🌺 Rachel Glass

These words, these stories are wonderful! Words for the heart that bring comfort for all who feel this loss! I am so sorry and send love and light to you Forest, family and friends. Big Love!

Dear Cristina, Forest, Carlos, Family and Friends,

We are devastated, heartbroken and saddened to hear of the loss of your loving son, brother and our cousin Caetano. We love you and our thoughts and prayers are with Caetano and each of you. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and memories of Caetano’s beautiful soul. These tributes not only reflect on this exceptional young man who loved his family and brought so much joy and love to so many, but also reflect the incredible love and support of his beautiful family and friends. Caetano is now one with the universe and has moved on from this world, but his spirit will shine and live on forever in our hearts. We are your family and are here for you always. God Bless you all.

Love, Your Marquez Familia, Ray, Dennis and Diane

Dear Christina, Carlos and Forest,
I’m finding it almost impossible to find words to express my family’s sadness over the loss of Caetano. It has hit each one of us hard and in different ways. It’s like a light in the darkness has been lost. I mostly find myself thinking about how he and Bergen had the most tumultuous relationship in elementary, that never made much sense to me. Then, as freshmen in H.S., ended up making a couple of profoundly deep, moving films and becoming friends. I think about what their 4/5 grade teacher would say to me, in explanation of why they seemed to drive each so crazy. She would say that they were almost too much alike, in their “larger than life” personalities to be in one classroom together. As so many have already said, Caetano really could see things that others don’t; in people and the world. I can’t imagine what a burden that must have been for him. He really was “life” so it makes no sense that his is gone. Others have said this as well and I agree. The world is a much better place having had him for 17 years. He will be profoundly missed. Love, Elizabeth, Sten, Olin and Bergen Sorby

Looking back gratefully to when we had a chance to be with Carlos and Caetano in our improbable but wonderful stay with you in Chile. We had met the boys as babies but now they were around 7 and 8—-and exceptional. Our first clue was when they finished the lego set we had brought almost before all the pieces were out of the box. They were curious, clever, friendly, and funny. They created their own fun. Sometimes their humor was adult-like with a sly engaging twist. They got it—did we? Caetano would fix his gaze as if he were trying to fathom that. We treasure those moments and will remember Caetano as the bright, creative, little boy who even then was perhaps bigger than life. We feel profound sorrow for your loss and the loss to Carlos and to the world of that little boy with so much potential. We are thinking of you all and sending our love.

Jeannie and Rich

Dear Cristina, Forest, and Carlos, I feel so sad for your loss and have been in shock since finding out. My son, Diego and Caetano go back to kindergarten and joined each other at Billings. I was remembering today a time I was driving the boys after they had been hanging out and Caetano and I laughed together about the Taylor Swift song Blank Space (that we both surprisingly liked) how we both thought it sounded like she was saying “Go on Starbucks lovers,” instead of “Got a long list of ex-lovers.” I found out that same 7th grade year that Diego and Caetano had performed Maroon 5’s Sugar together at some school event. How I wish I had witnessed that. For now, I dug up a funny picture of the two of them, although its kind of blurry (I will post it on Facebook as I can’t figure out how to do it here). Feeling a heavy heart for you. Sending you love, Shannon

-Still remember him as one of the funniest kids we have ever known. He always made every one around him laugh.
Thinking of you all and sad that our world lost such a great human❤️

Dear Cristina, Forest and Carlos,

I was really sad to hear about Caetano’s death. He was one of my best friends in middle school, and one of the reasons I came to school every day. We had some great times together, like shooting airsoft guns at his 13th birthday party, and going trick-or-treating on Halloween and watching scary movies afterwards. Sorry about that time I tried to give him a swirly.

With love, Abram

Sending you all so much love. May you find peace and comfort as you mourn your loss. 💔 Pat Sullivan

Dearest Cristina, Forest, and Carlos,

Patrick and I are absolutely stunned and heartbroken to hear of the loss of your beautiful Caetano. Please know that we are thinking of you all and sending our deepest love and sympathy.

Cristina, I’m so Sorry for your loss. Your beautiful tribute to your son allowed people who never knew him to get a glimpse of what a special soul he is. Thank you for sharing.

To Caetano, I’ll never forget every minute I spent talking with you, wether that be joking around, talking about life, you making me laugh, or anything else. It hurts so much to know that I’ll never get another message, or have the joy of seeing you randomly reappear sometime like you’ve done before. The world lost one of the funniest, most caring people. ❤️

Our family’s favorite memories of Caetano. 

Daring himself to eat a habanero chile at cooking class, then doing it, narrating the experience for us all, and then it kicked in.  Hot one.  
Asking the counter person to load up a frozen yogurt with every single topping on hand. 
Constantly generating fun on walks around Green Lake and on the electric boat.  

We cherish the time with you and will miss you Caetano.  

-Bryan, Becky and Sierra 

Your family was there for Marie Hada and I after Tom passed, and we will always return the love and support. 💗💗💗
Wow that was back when we were playing Pokemon Go. What a time.

I would first like to offer my deep condolences to your family, I cannot quite find the words to express the sadness I feel from this news.

I moved to the Seattle area as a shy 3rd grader with all my friends back in the only home I’d ever known. That’s when I met Caetano.

Over the next year and half Caetano I became best friends. We bonded over Minecraft, games of Halo, and could chat endlessly about most things. He had an incredible sense of humor, and a touch of brilliance that was apparent even from this young age. Some of the things he said shocked me at the time – I learned quite a few new words from being around him- but I always was sure I’d laugh when I was around him. We’d often butt heads as he could be rather strong-willed, but that was just part of the package with Caetano’s lively personality.

I regret never truly reconnecting with him after our paths diverged in 5th grade, but will always cherish the memories and time I spent with him. The world was robbed of Caetano’a spirit far too soon. I love you Caetano and I hope I meet you again one day.

Your Friend,

Queridos Forest, Cristina y Carlos,

No se qué decirles en estos momentos tan desoladores. Los tendré en mis pensamientos para que ojalá encuentren un camino hacia la aceptación.

Muchos cariños, mucha fuerza,
Paula y Sapo

Forest, Cristina and Carlos – What a beautiful tribute to a passionate and creative soul – your son/brother. And what life he lived – more than most! So much love & smiles in all the pictures. How proud you must feel to have been chosen to be his family. We are holding you close to our hearts now and always.
Love you – Suzanne, Dennis, Michael & Marley ❤️

I wrote this on Christina’s FB page and adding it here. Love and prayers for your beautiful family. I’ve missed his visits with Dylan. He’s the only kid who would come over and head straight to our piano and play a few tunes before jumping on video games. He was always willing to watch non-hollywood movies with us when Dylan poo-poo’d them. And we are lucky to have in our possession something he bought at Goodwill on one of their many shopping sprees, a wooden cross. I always knew it was special. It has hung on our stairwell wall since the day he gave it to us. Through it all, I know they always cared about each other very much. Bless you all.

Queridos Forest, Cristina y Carlos,

No tengo palabras adecuadas para este momento de profundo dolor.

Espero que el tiempo y el amor que se tienen les permita salir adelante, en paz y aceptación.

Mucho cariño,
Paula y Sapo

What a beautiful remembrance — there is so much love in the photos and memories here. Sincerest thanks for the bravery to share the story of parenting this precious child amidst such profound sadness. My deepest condolences.

What a beautiful remembrance — there is so much love in the photos and recollections here. My heart breaks for you all. Sincere thanks for sharing Caetano’s story amidst such profound sadness. My deepest condolences and wishes for peace in the future.

Forest, Cristina and Carlos – I’m so sorry to hear about Caetano’s passing. I learned of this page and subsequently of his death from Clark. Reading the beautiful tribute, I’m filled with sadness, but also gratefulness that such a wonderful young man had the opportunity to influence others. I’m sorry that I never had the chance to meet him, but, when you describe his personality, I see glimpses of the young Forest I knew during our youth. I’m thinking of you from afar and may you find comfort in this difficult time.

Forest, Cristina and Carlos,
We cannot find the words to adequately express our sadness at learning of the loss of your dear Caetano. We feel that we learned to know him from all the thoughtful tributes on his website. What a remarkable young man. We also confess to feeling anger at a culture that would allow such a young, talented, promising young man to be taken. May all your wonderful memories of his 16 years give you solace in the difficult days ahead. Forest, you are the only person who was a special friend to all of our three sons. You enriched each of their lives–and ours. Please know how much we care for you all.

Forest, Cristina, Carlos – I’m so incredibly sorry for the immense loss of Caetano. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to him, and to your lives together. Sending much love, cousins. 💔❤️

I knew Caetano as the kid my son Abram talked about every day. They met in sixth grade at Billings Middle School. Caetano was Abram’s good friend for two years and the center of his social group. In eighth grade, Caetano broke off his relationship with Abram. I think that he wanted to hang out with different kids. It is painful, this process of heartbreak. Abram did threaten to put Caetano’s head in the toilet bowl, and he was suspended (indefinitely) from Billings by Anne Evan Williams, an action that precipitated the Great Parent Revolt of 2017, whose outcome was the end of suspensions and the successful graduation of the class of 2017. Thank you, Caetano.

Of personal significance to me is that, subsequent to the “swirly” incident, I met the remarkable Cristina Key. On Facebook, she describes herself as an “anti-motivational speaker and coach.” You can see that the apple did not fall far from the tree. She honors me when she calls me “friend.”

In your family photos, Cristina, I see my own family, and I feel a little of what must be your immense grief. Crap, man. Who expects to bury a child?

Safe travels, Caetano.

Having been there at the beginning, so full of promise, it is heartbreaking be be here at the end. The thoughts and photos on this page showed that Caetano lived, really lived life. I am filled with awe and wonder in all that he brought to this world.

Forest, Christina and Carlos, my heart aches for you. We send golden love and light to you, may the sorrow be touched sweetness.

Having been there at the beginning, so full of promise, it is heartbreaking be be here at the end. The thoughts and photos on this page showed that Caetano lived, really lived life. I am filled with awe and wonder in all that he brought to this world.

Forest, Christina and Carlos, my heart aches for you. We send golden love and light to you, may the sorrow be touched by sweetness.

Mi corazón y el de mi familia está contigo Cristina, Forest y Carlos. Recuerdo continuamente aquellos primeros días de Microsoft en 2005: creo que Caetano tenía 3 años. Ver a Cristina y Forest infundir creatividad y expresión en Carlos y Caetano fue inspirador y educativo para mí en ese entonces. Vi a los dos hermanos Key heredar y aprender de las habilidades únicas y potentes de storytelling y creatividad de sus padres. Descansa en paz, Caetano.

Forest, nunca podré agradecerte lo suficiente por tu amistad y por toda la influencia positiva, el liderazgo y las oportunidades que me has brindado a lo largo de los años. Tu ejemplo me ha hecho una mejor persona en muchos aspectos de mi vida (familia, trabajo). Tu has sido *fundamental para ayudarme a ser quien soy hoy – GRACIAS. Cris, GRACIAS por ser mi amiga y una figura igualmente inspiradora en mi vida: el amor y la creatividad que siempre has mostrado hacia tu familia también me ha influido fundamentalmente para ser una mejor persona, hijo y tío.

Carlos, te conocí por primera vez cuando eras un niño, un poco mayor que tu hermano y luego he visto cuán increíble storyteller te has convertido, al igual que tu mamá y tu papá. Continúa contando historias. Contar historias es compartir. Compartir es amar. Gracias también, por ser un punto de referencia increíble para mí cuando paso tiempo con mis (aun pequeños) sobrinos que — como lo hicieron tú y tu hermano Caetano cuando eran pequeños, buscan explorar su creatividad y expresión.

Todo mi amor,


I’m so, so sorry to hear this. I remember watching the videos that your boys made back when they were young. So creative. Praying for your family.

What a beautiful tribute. We are all so lucky to have experienced him through your beautiful stories and pictures. There are no words to express how deeply sorry we are for you guys. Please just know that you all are in our hearts, and we are sending all of our love to you guys.

My deepest condolences for the entire family. Caetano was one of Keaton’s first friends when we moved back to Seattle. I remember the day Keaton came back home from you all taking him to the ID and his first bubble tea and he was all smiles. Although they grew apart as life got in the way I know that Keaton will always hold those childhood memories fondly in his heart. May his soul be at peace.

Forest, Cristina and Carlos – We have been looking at this memorial over and over again this past week as it is such a beautiful tribute to a truly amazing kid. Thank you for allowing us to experience the love that Caetano brought to his family and friends through your words and photos. We are so deeply sorry for your loss and will come back to this website again, whenever we feel the need to be inspired by Caetano’s curiosity about the world and his desire to love more. Sending you lots of love.

We’re all in shock since Arturo informed us yesterday. So hard to find words…
You were all so kind to us after we arrived in Seattle in 2006, welcoming us into your Green Lake home where Alana and Liam played with Carlos and Caetano. Their childhood memories are not so strong now, but ours are. This was a lovely tribute to read, beautifully written. As a kidney transplant recipient last year, I so admire your efforts to ensure he will live on and enable life in others. What better tribute?
Love from Wayne & Jo, Alana, Liam and Jake…

Thank you for sharing so many beautiful and precious memories in what must be such a difficult time. We have always marveled at the warmth of your family’s presence. Your written tribute to Caetano was felt thru and thru. I don’t have a lot of great words, so may he Rest In Peace in your warm and loving embrace. Love and hugs. -Alice and David

Cristina and Forest, I was so terribly saddened by your losing your son. I can only offer you my heartfelt love and support at this challenging time. Best of strength, love and togetherness moving forward. Stephen

Forest, Cristina and Carlos – deepest condolences from the Fort clan. We have such wonderful memories of our young families together in Beijing. Beautiful tribute. May he rest in peace. Love – Molly and Garth

Dear Cristina, Forest, and Carlos,

I have been thinking about all of you every day since I heard about Caetano. I am remembering your beautiful family just starting off in San Francisco, thinking about the boys swimming together in Marin, and thinking about all the love your family has always had and has always shared. This website is such a beautiful tribute to Caetano and to that love. In the pictures, I see his sense of humor, creativity, and spirit. A spirit like that surely lives on in the hearts of many.

I am also thinking about all of you and the waves of pain and other emotions that you are likely experiencing. I hope you know that you are not alone. You are in our hearts, and if you want, we are just a phone call away.

Sending you love and the biggest hug that can travel through the internet. Let us know when you are in San Francisco.

Forest, Cristina and Carlos,

Lisa just came upon Cristina’s post this afternoon. I looked over at her and she had tears in her eyes and I knew something terrible had happened. It turns out it had already happened almost three weeks ago.

Thank you for posting and giving us a window into what the past few years has been like since we visited you in Seattle a few years back. All of the love and joy and honesty in these pictures and photos is utterly heartbreaking. It’s overwhelming to contemplate. We are wondering what you’re all feeling right now, and hoping that it contains some relief and healing as well as the necessary grief, anger, and… well who are we to speculate? We just want to let you know that you are all very much in our hearts. This is terribly, terribly tragic. We look forward to getting in touch again soon and reconnecting.

With all our love,

Jacob and Lisa

Dear Caetano,

Most of what I know of you, I know through your family. I know how deeply they love you, how hard they tried to help you and how much they cherish your creative, hilarious, bold spirit. You were a seeker, an experimenter, a provocateur, a philosopher, a debater, a joker — outspoken and unafraid to try on new ideas and go against the grain. Like when you made your middle school classmates crazy by advocating for Trump, largely, I suspect, for the fun of it. You were restless and brilliant and loving and outrageous and so so funny. I remember watching you on your way to Comicon a few years back, in extremely high heels and a French maid‘s costume. No one wore it better.

Cristina, Forest and Carlos, we are heartbroken.

We love you,


Dear friends,
We can’t even begin to imagine the pain of your loss. We are really feeling the helplessness of being so far away and not being able to offer you a more personalized solace. We have been reminiscing over the happy moments we’ve shared over the past 17 years. The time last year Sammy and I met with Forest and Carlos in Madrid, the time a couple of years ago when we hung out in Madrid with the two of you, of the happy coincidental rendezvous we had in New York in 2014.
We have also been remembering these days the conversation we had about parenting our sons last time we were together. This is a crazy, unpredictable, glorious and sometimes painful adventure we embarked on almost two decades ago. We wish you healing and comfort, dear friends. And that you know that you are loved.
We found this poem (we think it’s Scottish) and thought of you guys:

You can shed tears that he is gone
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left us.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he’s gone
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what he’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Dear Cristina and Forest– I can’t even begin to tell you how much reading everything you have written about Caetano has affected me. Kristina and I want to add our names to the long list of people who want you to know how much we care about you guys, and that we will be there for you in any way possible that would be helpful.

We first met Caetano in 2005 when he was so young but filled with enthusiasm and interest in this strange British couple staying in his basement. Always energetic; always curious; always clear in his opinions – a force to be reckoned with, and now a star in the sky. Sending our love to Forest, Cristina and Carlos who must now come to terms with living without him here. XO


I just learned of the tragic passing of Caetano this afternoon. I am devastated for you and Cristina and Carlos, there are no words. To hear about it felt like a punch in the gut. I can only imagine what all of you must be going through. In reading these stories about Caetano’s life, it sounds like he was such a special kid. Your personal blog post reflecting on this loss was incredibly meaningful. My heart goes out to all of you. Sending so much love and healing your way.

a force of nature
shock of wild hair flowing free

very,very sorry for your loss
Marcos and Max

Christina, Forest and Carlos, Lily and I are so sorry for your loss. We are heartbroken for you and sending love and hugs. Our deepest condolences and wishes for peace in the future.

Lily and Liwei

Forest, Cristina and Carlos, Lily and I are very very sorry for your loss. We are heartbroken. Sending you love and the biggest hug that can travel through the internet during the challeging time. May his soul be at peace.

Lily and Liwei

so glad we were elementary school buddies. you never let anybody around you keep a strait face. I miss your jokes and your amazing creativity. I wish we could have reunited after we both went to wilderness and therapy programs. I’m so sorry recovery wasn’t possible for you. hopefully you are still making movies and comedy sketches wherever you are.

much love


Keys: Deepest love to all of you.

Forest: I will always be grateful for the shot you gave me and for the brilliance you continue to give my world.

Caetano: You inspire me to be a better man.

matt dittrich

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