“I don’t know what to say” or “I didn’t know what to say”. What do you say to someone in pain?
Here is my definitive answer: Something.
I am 100% confident in this answer. This is my advice to you, say something.
We all have our personal tragedies. If you’ve escaped this, you are very lucky and also probably privileged.
They come in many forms. All experiences are different.
So, maybe it’s not you this time. Maybe it’s your friend or your lover or your step-sister or your co-worker.
What could you possibly say to them about this tragedy, the feelings of which you know nothing?
It won’t be perfect. You are probably worried you will say something that will upset them. And you will. But they are already upset.
It won’t be graceful. You are anxious that you will fumble your words, your voice will shake and your cheeks will flush. Maybe. But this isn’t about you.
Acknowledge their pain in some way. You have no idea how much this means. Or maybe you do.