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.
"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..."
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
"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."
"[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."
"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."
"Many of her Sangha considered [Sue] the mother of their center."
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
View the video