Hilary Edwards

Hilary Edwards

Tuesday, March 19th, 1963 Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

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Obituary for Hilary Anne Edwards (Duff)

Hilary Anne Edwards (nee Duff), aged 56, passed away on Nov. 13th, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Throughout her year-long struggle with cancer, Hilary maintained a remarkably positive spirit and unfaltering resilience. The courage and grace with which she faced her illness were characteristic of her strength and beauty in life. She died peacefully, surrounded by the love of her family.

Hilary was born to parents Jacqueline Frances Duff (nee Edwards) and Ian Leiper Duff in Northern Rhodesia (Kitwe) on March 19, 1963. She is survived by her loving parents, her sister Glenda, her brother Graham, her nephew Eric and her niece Jamie. Hilary spent the last years of her life living in the spectacular setting on Burnaby Mountain outside of Vancouver, BC, where she enjoyed panoramic views of the North Shore mountains and the beautiful Burrard Inlet. She loved sharing this backdrop while hosting elaborate gatherings of family and friends.

Among Hilary's myriad accomplishments, includes achieving her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, and an MBA from Queen’s University, and later her Masters in Counselling from City University of Seattle. She held several senior level management positions in global financial and marketing firms throughout her successful business career. Following her tenure in the business sector, Hilary became a psychotherapist and found great satisfaction in her role as counsellor. Her career choices were largely shaped by her strong desire to help others, which ultimately led to opening her own private counselling practice in 2015. She had a generous spirit and derived enormous pleasure from knowing her efforts made a difference in helping others.

Hilary had an enduring love of animals, especially her two cats Jasmine and Luka, and fostered a great love of the outdoors; she was an avid kayaker, hiker, camper and, more recently, cross-country skier.

Hilary’s loving spirit, gentle nature and warm smile will be missed by many and her memory will remain in our hearts forever.

Both Hilary and Phil, the love of her life, are now able to join together again in the warmth of each other and their invincible summer.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Hilary Anne can be made toCapitol Hill Animal Hospital
( | 5514 East Hastings St, Burnaby, BC 604-299-3395)
or Vancouver General Hospital ((604) 875-4676 or

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As Hilary requested, there will be no formal memorial service in her honour. Instead, we invite you to share any special memories you may have of Hilary on the tribute wall.

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D McCracken

I had the pleasure of meeting Hilary when she was a counselling practicum student at my former workplace. She touched me in a way other students hadn’t, with her kindness and gentle spirit. I have thought about her over the years and am so saddened to hear of her passing. The counselling field and world in general has lost a wonderful soul in Hilarys passing. My condolences to all her loved ones. She was a special person.
Comment | Posted at 08:10pm via Condolence

Richard Tatomir

I myself am a couples therapist. Hilary was my wife and I’s couples therapist. She was a model of what a good couples therapist and human being should be, never taking sides, striving to see our care for each other behind our disagreements. Hilary helped us get skills to better understand each other during a particularly stressful time while we were engaged. We are very happily married and still have her framework on our fridge to deal with conflicts.
Comment | Posted at 12:02pm via Condolence

Janine Gliener

My connection with Hilary was quite distant and short, yet she stood out for me as someone with the imagination and courage to be proactive and live the life she wanted. We worked briefly in the same marketing group at a large financial institution in Toronto. I watched with admiration, as she left her sweet home here to take on Vancouver (and real estate prices, even then!), B.C. living and eventually transition out of business into something more personally enriching. I'm so sorry to read of her death and I send my condolences to her family and friends.
Janine Gliener
Comment | Posted at 03:18pm via Condolence

Barry and Therese MacDonald, and Gordon Cairns

Our dear friend Hilary shone with a luminous light. Her warm enthusiasm, whimsical smile, and heartfelt kindness hooked our hearts at first encounter.

Against incredible adversity she remained gracious, compassionate and concerned about others throughout her illness. Until the very end she faced declining health and immobility with a dignified fearlessness while at the same time embracing a deep love toward others. 

Affectionately known among us as “The Countess”—from Vienna, no doubt—for her elegant capacity to rise above insurgency in search of gregarious solutions—particularly merciful ones, we shared many playful moments together.

It was a great privilege to accompany Hilary as she prepared to die. She gently reminded us to appreciate our blessings, to be a collector of moments—experiences, and to be compassionate with another person's struggle. In return we offered comfort and empathy. We realized that it was all we had in the face of death.

John O’Donohue’s poem—On the Death of the Beloved—was an inspiration to Hilary and us as we embraced her end of life preparations. May his words bless and comfort those who loved Hilary and are missing her.

Hilary’s tender essence will live on forever in our hearts.

With love,

Therese, Barry, and Gord

On the Death of the Beloved
—By John O'Donohue

Though we need to weep your loss 
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn 
Brightening over our lives,
Awakening beneath the dark 
A further adventure of colour

The sound of your voice
Found for us a new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze 
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers 
On the alter of the heart
Your mind always sparkled 
with the wonder of things.

Though your days were brief,
Your spirit was alive. awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, 
We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us where beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echos eternal tones.

When orchards brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again
Comment | Posted at 11:52pm via Condolence

Andrew Cann

Hilary will always be in our hearts - someone who was fun-loving and always a positive person to be near. The sun always shined when we saw her and our enduring memory will always be of happiness, love and fun times! Though very sadly missed, she will always be remembered - we were lucky to have known her. Kirsty and Andrew
Comment | Posted at 04:22pm via Condolence

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