My News

Goodbye Jesse

I haven’t really had the time to process and grieve him yet due to my treatment, but my friend Jesse is gone.

He meant a great deal to me, and while I am trying to remain upbeat and focused on my recovery, he’s always there, taking up space in my heart and mind. I miss him so profoundly.

Me and Jesse
December, 2008

He was so many things to me. He was my first kiss. He was my first gay peer and friend. He and I met at a time when I felt so isolated, so alone in the world. He helped to show me that not only was I not alone, but I was surrounded by people who loved me just as I was.

It took us the better part of the school year to finally meet, after exchanging glances (more like stares) every day as we passed each other in the crowded halls at school each morning. We bonded immediately and spent many days together through the remaining school year and into the summer. He came with my family on a trip or two over the summer and I spent countless hours at his house.

He showed me that I didn’t need to be terrified, that I didn’t need to worry about my labels, that I was just fine the way I was.

I know he must have been hurting terribly to decide to end it, and I’m struggling to decide whether or not I’m angry with him for it. It’s just all very confusing and overwhelming.


Jesse's Night Sky

The last time I saw Jesse was this past December. We lay on blankets staring at the stars, talking about our decade of friendship and our futures when he took this beautiful long exposure photo of the night sky. Click on it for the full image.

Jesse, you were so loved. I wish you had loved yourself the way I loved you. I will miss you always.



Jesse Paul Derouen
December 22, 1983 – August 18, 2012

6 replies on “Goodbye Jesse”

Hi Beau. I don’t remember if we ever met, but I at least knew of you through Jesse. I knew him in high school (I grew up in Morgan City), and we reconnected in college; he actually lived with me for a bit in Baton Rouge.

I think of him probably a few times a month, but I have been thinking of him a lot the last few days. Remembering how he was, remembering his mom, wishing I had been a different person when our lives intersected the second time so I could have been a better friend.

Anyway, I was googling him for I don’t know what reason, and came across your blog. Reading your post was actually good for me for a few reasons, and I’m glad I found it. I read a few other entries too since they were there, and I hope you’re doing well.

He was lucky to have known you, I think.

Jeremy, I was extremely surprised to get a notification about a comment on this post after all these years and am grateful you took the time. I was just talking to someone about Jesse yesterday, and it’s comforting to know that others continue to think of him too.

I don’t know if we ever met, I met Jesse the one year I was at NISH, my senior year, 2000-2001.

I am friends with Jesse’s mom on Facebook, she posts about him often and we talk from time to time. The last time I saw him I stopped to talk to her as I was crossing paths with her outside their home as she got home from work. I told her how happy I was that Jesse had a mom like her, that despite his struggles I always knew he had a fierce advocate in his corner. She really was a great mother and support to him.

I don’t know what things were like for you when you were a part of Jesse’s life the second time around, but I know if Jesse were here now he’d probably laugh a sarcastic laugh and tease you for hanging on to that. There were periods where Jesse and I didn’t speak for years because he blocked me after we got into a heated debate about this or that. I think most of us are a mess during those years of our lives. I try to remind myself that having regrets lets me know that I’ve grown. I think Jesse would agree.

Thanks for all of the kind words, I’m doing very well. Many of my posts on here are about struggles from long ago, but I figure they may be of value to people going through similar journeys.

If you ever want to connect, I’m pretty easy to find on Facebook. There’s a link somewhere on this site too, I think.

Thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment, it was a heartwarming and emotional surprise. Take care of yourself.

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