About “Noe.”

Written with clarity and grace, this memoir of an adolescent boy’s four-year struggle with leukemia, his untimely death at sixteen, and the aftermath is presented from three perspectives. Using journals and recollection, Noe’s father Phil Wolfson recalls the events chronologically. His son’s chemotherapy journal offers a stricken teenager’s private view of illness, his wrestling with such enormous stress while striving to live within the framework of “normal” expectations for adolescence. The third perspective derives from the author’s realization that his intimate relationship with Noe continues after death. Channeling his son’s spirit, the author writes in his place, sharing with readers a near-adult view of living with illness and losing the battle to survive it.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/22275525]

Noe reveals the inner world of familial love and discord, Noe’s own remarkable coping, and the extraordinary stress Noe’s illness had on his younger brother. It describes the quest for emotional and spiritual support through therapy, contact with renowned alternative healers, and the use of the drug MDMA for enhancing relationships. With poignant descriptions of an assisted dying process, Noe moves beyond a model of bereavement to offer a reminder of love’s transcendence.

4 Responses to About “Noe.”

  1. Lise says:

    What a heartfelt undertaking to have completed this acknowledgment and promise to Noah, to keep his memory alive; to share his experience with so many others. I’m certain he’s smiling from the ethers. Congratulations on your tenacity, to continue for two decades in order to bring ‘Noe’ to life, to allow us to know him so intimately, to share your family’s life in such glorious and painful detail. A bold and courageous endeavor! Thank you!

  2. Larry Brucia says:

    I never got to meet Noah. But I did get to meet Phil. I look forward to meeting them both together for the first time in the book Noe.

    Guiding others during difficult events in our lives is a wonderful gift to pass on to others. Dr. Phil Wolfson has done just that.

    Thank you for letting me meet your son, Noah, and thank you for extending your hand of help to others.

    • elizabeth cope says:

      Hello,Dr. Wolfson, I am a random woman in Pittsburgh, Pa. and I just had to comment on your moving and powerful book about your Noe, whose struggle and indomitable spirit and spunk leapt off the pages like a living presence. I was looking for reading material that would allow me to feel less alone in my own family struggles with cancer, having lost two family members to this horrendous disease. I found myself drawn to the stories of children who have had to brave this disease. The two books that affected me the most poignantly were the book “Hannah’s Gift”Lessons from a Life Fully Lived by Maria Housden and your book “Noe”. I want to sincerely thank you for sharing your family’s story of loss and more importantly,love. Noah would be so proud of you. I am sure he is. I hope that Eric is flourishing in his life. What handsome boys! I think you may get something from Hannah,s Gift as well. Maybe I am overstepping my bounds even suggesting it, but both stories so moved me, Hannah’s, and of course Noah,s. What special children. In closing, thank you again for pouring your heart into your son’s life story for the benefit of everyone fortunate enough to stumble upon the book, as I did.
      Sincerely, Elizabeth

  3. I graduated from Lick-Wilmerding High School in 1988, so I was there when Noe died. I’m also like you, a slow writer, but I can’t imagine writing about my son’s death.

    Congratulations on an excellent and moving book.

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