To anyone who had an intention of helping James, he was a terribly frustrating and annoying person. So often taken up with physical or emotional distress he seemed to me completely unwilling to take almost any advice, follow any helpful suggestion or in any way perturb his normal lifestyle in the service of feeling happier or healthier.
For those of us who have made our way through life trying to fix the problems of others, this insistence he had on being so completely, imperturbably himself was extremely irritating. Normal methods of guile, bullying or cajoling had as much effect as wind on stone.
I know I am not alone in trying to help nor in my frustration nor in noticing what I was left with in the face of James’ implacability.
When you can no longer pretend that you’re fixing or helping or mending someone’s distress you’re left with all there is left to give: Love.
James in his dogged insistence on ignoring all my advice left me with only one avenue to take: to simply love him. The one thing he’d accept from anyone really, was Love; which perhaps helps explain why James was one of the most lovable people most of us have ever met.
With most people there’s a sense of bargaining around the giving and receiving of Love. James didn’t negotiate. He simply was himself and thus inspired such great love from so many people.
If there’s a lesson to take from the life of James Denton, then perhaps it’s got something to do with that.
Rest in Peace, my dear friend.