Here are some positive and perhaps, comforting ideas:
”This must be hard for you.”
”Do you feel like talking about it?”
”You must really be hurting.”
”I can’t know how you feel, but I care.”
”I’ve been thinking about you.”
”I’ve been praying for you.” (if appropriate)
”Would you like for me to come over and be with you for awhile?”
”I’ll call you tomorrow” (if you can follow through)
”May I stop by and take you for a ride?” (to church, to help with an errand?)
”Would it be all right for me to call once in a while to be sure you’re all right?”
”I don’t want you to feel so alone.”
”Take all the time you need.”
”It’s not fair, is it?”
”Thank you for showing your feelings.”
”How are you doing with all of this?”
Let your genuine concern and caring show. Say you are sorry about what has happened to their loved one and about their pain. Allow them to express as much grief as they are feeling at that moment and are willing to share. Be available to listen, to run errands, to help with the children, take the kids out or whatever else seems to be needed at the time. Allow them to talk about the child or whomever they have lost. Allow them to talk about their feelings as much as needed.
Grief often lasts longer than we expect it to. Continuing to offer your support for the long run can be an important source of help for the griever. Be there for them on anniversaries and holidays if you can.
The most important gift you can give them is to listen, listen, listen.