I'm asked from time to time, "what do you say to someone who is experiencing a major tragedy?" I think all of us can gain some insight into loving people through difficult times by understanding the origin of the simple word, "care," as set forth by Henri Nouwen.
“The word ‘care’ finds its roots in the Gothic ‘Kara’ which means lament. The basic meaning of care is: to grieve, to experience sorrow, to cry out. I am very much struck by this background of the word care because we tend to look at caring as an attitude of the strong toward the weak, of the powerful toward the powerless, of the have’s toward the have not’s. And, in fact, we feel quite uncomfortable with an invitation to enter into someone’s pain before doing something about it…The friend who cares makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters. In fact, it matters more than pain, illness, or even death…Therefore, to care means first of all to be present to each other.” Henri Nouwen
When someone you love is hurting, hurt with them. You'll be hard pressed to find any combination of spoken words that beat that.