One month ago, I visited Stella Benson in the ICU at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center to play a bit of harp music for her as she had been re-admitted for emergency care.
I had first met Stella in 1999 at a Music for Cancer Care conference in Seattle led by Pat Moffit Cook who was exploring the use of sound for healing.
I knew Stella was one of the very respected harpers who used the harp for healing/comfort in various healthcare settings and found her to be a warm and delightful soul.
I purchased all of her books and CD's that were excellent in helping harpers find their path in using the harp for healing.
I knew that she had been dealing with cancer, among other medical complications, but she seemed to be on the road to recovery. I played some music near her bedside and even though she was asleep, she appeared to respond to the music.
When I returned two days later to play again, Randy (her husband) informed that she had worsened so quickly that the life support she was on, would be removed on Sunday, the 27th July.
I and Jo Philpot (a healing harper and a close friend of Stella) played before the life support was removed and Jo played beautifully during the time it took for Stella to breathe her last.
I have removed the link to her older website (The Healer's Way), but the current one of the International Musician's Healing Program is still active and you can order her books from there. Currently the CD's are not available from there, but a Google search will let you find her recorded music.
She was an inspiration and leader for many, many harpers around the world and she left a rich legacy of teaching and programs for more harpers who will use the harp to heal.
Blessings to you Stella for all you gave to us.