In Memorium: Jesse Dee Beecher: December 12, 1985-December 21, 2014
Addiction is a heartbreaking chronic brain disease that for the lucky can be put into remission. Not everyone is lucky. I was reminded of this when, while vacationing in Thailand, Alumni Casey B. sent me news that Jesse Beecher had passed.
He wrote: Joan this makes me so sad. He was such a good guy and had so much love in his heart. It brings a lot of tears to my eyes. I hope that all of my brothers and sisters from MBRC will make this a lesson that no matter what, we always need to stick by each other’s sides forever. It sure made me realize that. I wish I could have talked to him.
Jesse was one of my favorites. He was a nice kid from Northern California, one of eight siblings. I thought – we all thought — he had a good shot at long-term sobriety. He was a model client who embraced the diet and yoga and fully participated in every aspect of the Malibu Beach Recovery program. Unfortunately his insurance benefits – this was before the Affordable Care Act and parity for substance abuse — were limited to 30 days of treatment.
I remember that he wanted to be a doctor. I spent hours trying to convince him to specialize in addiction medicine. I also remember taking him and other clients to the farmer’s market on several weekends. He was into being healthy and knew a lot about organic fruits and vegetables. I bought a lot of Italian (dinosaur) kale on those trips for the green power shakes he made each morning.
From a Staff Counselor: Extremely bright – sweet, too good at being able to hide it and so smart, socially presentable, charming and charismatic. I remember talking with him about his struggle in surrendering and maintaining involvement in a program of recovery – such a tragic loss to this thing that is so deadly. Some of the brightest people have great difficulty with surrender.
From another Staff Counselor: I remember facilitating a group he was in….we talked about how the tendency of an addict/alcoholic is to try and think your way out of it. I wrote on the board..”You won’t think your way into better behavior…instead..you’ll act your way into better thinking” We talked about how addiction is the only disease that tells you you’re OK when you’re not. Jesse was very intellectual and quick thinking…..and this is often a barrier to recovery. I would tell group members…”Your best thinking got you here…It’s crucial for all of you to be open minded and teachable.” Another beautiful person and bright light taken by this disease.
Three of those who were in treatment with him also sent tributes:
Casey B: I will miss you brother. Rest easy. I know you’re with The Lord now. I can’t stop thinking about our time together at MBRC and the impact you had on my sobriety. Those times will never be forgotten. Love you man. I know I’ll see you upstairs someday so until then you and your family will be in my prayers. Much love brother.
Kevin M.: I had the brief but great honor to have met Jesse. Whenever he walked into a room, you knew it. Always said hello to everyone and was genuinely interested in them and always took a personal interest in everyone he met. So many good memories filled with laughs and great conversation. He was never really afraid to let people in. Something I learned from him and truly admire. That definitely had a huge impact on my sobriety. And for that, I owe him a huge thank you. I’ll never forget him. Prayers of peace to his family, and everyone else to have the privilege of meeting Jesse B.
Lucy P.: I’m having a hard time coming up with the words to express the impact Jesse had on those around him. He was such a special person, and he was easy to love. He was kind, caring, passionate, clever, wise, and open. I valued his opinion and oftentimes sought advice from him. I looked up to him and respected him, and I enjoyed every moment I spent in his company. He had so much to offer, and his loss is devastating. I am sending prayers of love to his family and friends.
Rest in peace Jesse.
Our heartfelt condolences to his parents Gary and Dolores Beecher, and his siblings Rick, Troy (Kristie), Tracy, Rich, Dominic, Cory, and Shane. Click here to read the official obituary. Jesse was one special guy.
Photos (above left): Jesse’s Facebook profile
(above right): The photo Jesse sent before admitting so the staff would recognize him at the airport.