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PATRINA MCDONALD-GREEN – Hands of comfort for the loss of a father

June 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Conversation

It was a typical morning for the Green family in January 2009. Alex Green finished his breakfast, then stopped to kiss his wife, Patrina McDonald-Green, and their three children before heading to his financial advisory office.
The young ones would soon be off to school and McDonald-Green was anxiously anticipating a doctor’s appointment to confirm a suspicion she shared with her husband — that she was indeed pregnant.
After the doctor verified the good news, McDonald-Green spent the next several hours trying to call and text her husband — but to no avail. He never called and didn’t come home that night. “He went missing for 24 hours,” McDonald-Green recalled. “The next morning I got up and prepared the children for school and, as I was leaving my house, I found a note in my door from the coroner’s office (saying) that my husband had passed away.”
At that moment, the Greens’ entire support network — close family, other relatives and friends — went aboard an emotional roller coaster that only intensified when police reports indicated that Alex Green had committed suicide.
Soon after, McDonald-Green found herself thrust into position to assume complete responsibility for the family business. “I helped with my husband’s business and took care of our children at the same time,” she said. “When I decided to step into his shoes and run the company, I realized months later that I was using the business as an escape, in order not to deal with my own emotions about my husband’s death. I kind of went into an automatic survival mode and picked up where my husband left off. I had a lot of friends and family around me, but I still felt by myself. I didn’t feel that I could be true to what I was going through because my tragedy was also their tragedy.”
Knowing that her situation was bigger than she could manage alone, McDonald-Green sought help. She called around, looking for resources to help heal her family’s emotional pain.
“I literally called therapists and support groups looking for help, with no calls back and being strung along,” McDonald-Green recounted. “I started reaching outside of Las Vegas for … support, because I wasn’t really open to traditional therapy. I think that is kind of common in the black community. So, what I did was go on some retreats outside of my normal environment and this allowed me to connect to what I was really going through — and work on myself to reflect, introspect and start the healing process.”

Patrina McDonald-Green and family prior to the untimely death of her husband, Alex.

In life, Alex Green was a man that everyone in his family and community looked to for guidance and support. He was a great father and magnificent husband, says his wife, who showed no real signs of the kind of inner turmoil that would lead him to take his own life.
“OK, normally when I think of someone who considers suicide, I think of a person who is depressed, dark, isolating, has mood swings and sleeps a lot,” McDonald-Green said. “My husband had other things happen that were not normal for our relationship — it is a little personal, but his sex drive changed — and he often stated that he was not feeling well. I thought he had a cold, but the symptoms were not there.”
As McDonald-Green follows a path of recovery each day, she, inspired by her children, has established the Hands of Comfort Foundation to help others coping with tragedy. “We are supporting survivors of trauma because it might be the person who’s depressed, considering suicide or maybe attempted it and failed. We assist people who have been abused — sexually, mentally or emotionally — or it could be someone who just got a divorce and had a financial loss. Hands of Comfort Foundation will provide a 24-hour comfort line, support groups and retreats.”


The foundation is now teaming up with direct care providers Mobile Mental Health and Living Waters International to “provide expanded resources to our clients,” McDonald-Green said. “These agencies have agreed to work with us and our clients who will pay for services on a sliding scale if they have no insurance.” 
In late April, Hands of Comfort made a splash with its first public event. McDonald-Green said her biggest thrill that day was overhearing her children whisper among themselves how proud they were.
“The Hands of Comfort Foundation is taking on a life of its own,” she said. “It is so blessed, and people and resources are coming from all directions. The spiritual place I am now in is one of surrender. I realize that some things happen in life that are out of our control. My life is not my own and now I follow a path led by spirit and purpose.” 

For more info on Hands of Comfort Foundation, call 800-406-6317. Online,
visit or foundation.


2 Responses to “PATRINA MCDONALD-GREEN – Hands of comfort for the loss of a father”
  1. Michelle Alexander says:

    I am a longtime friend of Patrina and Alex and know how devistating this was. I am so proud of my friend. She has truly taken her pain and focused it on helping others. Alex would be so proud. I love you Patrina… 🙂

  2. kevin moore says:

    Wow patrina your story is very painful but not shocking because woman dont realy { not all but most } take the time to understand what it takes to be a man. we are not like women to share our emotional pain and past scars of whats going on because we dont ever want to appear as a weak man. we are made from rock and even when that rock becomes damaged we still have to have that manly rock hard leadership that is expected of us from family , friends , wifey , kids , and work and on top of that nobody is there for us. that can be painful and disapointing and you just feel so along , not saying that patrina was not there to listen or comfort but timing makes a huge difference when men are going threw things. we spend so much time trying to make people happy and mean-while we are the { men } ones thats falling apart inside and we feel if we confide in someone they better not let us down because the person we wanna confide in is the person we cant and that leads to depression and before you know it a story like this is told , god bless you patrina and your sons and everybody you care and love for. { kevin moore }

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