What do we do when someone we know is suffering?
When we are with someone who is going through a very painful part of their life journey perhaps the best thing we can do is to just be there and do our best to listen. It seems very difficult to find any words that can be truly helpful in those situations.
I sometimes think of the way pearls are formed in the shell of the oyster. It begins with a grain of sand that is painful and irritating to the oyster. She responds by coating the particle with mother of pearl coat after coat until the pearl is finally formed with by this time is a costly treasure. I remind myself of this as I go through days that have me in a place where I feel irritated and cross.
This thought is a comfort to me be may sound trite to the person who is just barely pulling themselves along. Maybe listening and saying next to nothing is the best route.