In Memoriam

Sue Ellen Hulley (1942-2012)

My mother, Sue, passed away peacefully on January 3, 2012. She was deeply loved by her life partner Bill, my sister Barbara and me, fellow Kadampa Buddhist practitioners from her local Sangha and around the world, and a wide circle of family and friends, too numerous to name here.

I was fortunate to be with Mom in the last month of her life. Such a beautiful, inspiring experience, and her Buddhist practice was a big part of that. How heartening to know that she considered her last moments to be the peak of her life, the transitioning of her consciousness. When we were looking for ways to help Mom be more comfortable, reminding that her beloved Guru Geshe-la would take care of her brought a big smile each time (even in semi-awakeness).

Also, she maintained her quirky sense of humor right to the end. A day or two before her passing, I leaned close to her ear and said gently and earnestly, "Mom, everything is taken care of, we’re ok here, and your Guru is with you — it’s fine to go, whenever you want." Mom opened her eyes, turned her head to look at me, and weakly flashed a wry smile. "That’s easy for YOU to say," she said. "I’ve been trying all day!"

The links below and left contain articles and videos from various authors in memory of my mother. May her words contribute to minds full of peace and hearts full of joy.

Sue's Parting Advice

"It seems very sudden when you hear that voice at the end of the phone, or coming right at you in the office, informing you that you have a life-threatening diagnosis..."  Read More

Video: Sue with Loved Ones

This is a video of Sue spending time with close family in early December, 2011. Followed by a photo slideshow of her enjoying life with family and friends (accompanied by music from her Buddhist tradition).  View the Video

A Day in the Life

"What a difference even one small human encounter makes when you are in the system waiting for appointments etc. One touch on the arm, and a kind comment, makes it all meaningful."  Read More

Conversations with Sue

"[Sue] said that death no longer felt like such a 'big deal' to her, more of a seamless transition, and she found a deep peace with it." Read More

Q & A

"The idea of being a friend to the world [is inspiring to me]. What a challenge! To not be fooled by people's surface appearance--positive or negative--but to remember that each person is fundamentally pure."  Read More

Short acknowledgement

"Many of her Sangha considered [Sue] the mother of their center."  Read More

Video: Filling the Buddha

See glimpses of Sue at 2:10-2:11, 3:20-3:22, 4:43-4:49, 5:08-5:24, 6:25-6:27 (lovely laugh), 7:20-7:22

Video: Short animation

View the video