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Community Mourns the Death by Suicide of “Ket” Barrington

by | Sep 14, 2021

Ket’s father, Matt Barrington, spoke about and insisted upon an open, public recognition of the tragedy. (Bill Giduz photo)


Late Sunday afternoon people started gathering on the Town Green. On any number of Sundays in our community, that gathering would be for a Concert on the Green. However, this Sunday it was different. There was somber shadow hanging over the hundreds who gathered.

People, young and old, were there to remember the life of Bereket “Ket” Barrington, a 17-year-old member of the Davidson community. The W. A. Hough High School Senior died by suicide on September 7. There were also dozens of counselors on hand to help.

Ket’s family had shared the following on social media and via the “EverLoved” memorial site:

Dearest Friends & Family,

On Tuesday September 7, 2021  we lost Ket to suicide at the age of 17. We are absolutely crushed. For the lucky ones who got to know Ket over the last nine years, you saw his bright smile, his strong work ethic, his kind heart for others, and his gentle spirit. What many were unaware of was the day-to-day battle Ket was fighting to deal with the significant loss and trauma he suffered during his childhood in Ethiopia.  Despite the horrible abuse, Ket chose a path of love and grace and none of us ever heard him say an unkind word about anyone. We will always be proud of Ket’s quiet, gentle, yet fierce strength.

Ket’s life was difficult and complex – his death is too.  We are reeling from many emotions. We take comfort that Ket knew he was loved and he knew he was a child of God. He felt cared for by our community in Davidson. He was accepted by his friends at school, especially his JROTC and cross-country teammates.

We need time as a family to process this devastating and unexpected loss of Ket. Please give our family some privacy over the coming days as we try to process this tragedy and grieve. We appreciate handwritten cards as support at this time as an alternative to texts and phone calls.  Also, please use this space to share stories, post pictures, and encourage one another and us.

We also know so many of you want to pay your respects and mourn the loss of Ket too.  In order to do so, our church and Davidson will host a public service in honor of Ket this Sunday afternoon (9/12/21 at 5:00 PM) on The Green in downtown Davidson.  This is open to anyone who would like to come.  We will hold a private service for our family sometime the following week.

Rest in Peace Ket…

Love, The Barringtons

Photo collage from the EverLoved website.




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