I know a dear Christian lady who on a single day lost all three of her sons. I have another friend who lost a son on the very day of his and his wife's anniversary. These are not times of celebration that you can write on a church calendar and post on a bulletin board, but you can nonetheless write them on your own personal calendar, and send a card or give them a call on that special day. It's amazing how such small kindnesses that take so very little effort can mean so much to the recipient. Even if you don't know what to say and words fail you, your presence and even the fact that you thought of them will speak volumes.
One of the customs that Jews practice at the death of loved ones is called 'Sitting Shivah', (i.e., "sitting for seven days": shivah means "seven"). The immediate family mourns for seven days, (traditionally, on low stools inches from the floor) but friends of the family can come over to the house. And they sit silently with the bereaved for a period of time; not talking: just sitting, until the bereaved themselves decide to converse. The idea behind this is not that visitors should search for words to say, but by their very presence, they bring comfort. The idea of the presence of a person visiting, rather than just his explanations or expressions of condolence is a crucial biblical doctrine, and not just in the Hebrew Scriptures, but in the New Testament as well.
Genesis 50:10 states that Joseph "made a mourning for his father seven days". And in the Book of Job, Job's three friends sat in silence with him on the ground for seven days, " ... and none spake a word unto him, for they saw that his grief was very great" (Job 2:13). It's easy to criticize those three friends because of their foolish advice, but keep in mind: these men visited with him and waited in silence for over a WEEK before they talked. If they didn't care about him, they wouldn't have even done THAT. When Christians pour out their hearts to God in grief they often feel that they're that owed an explanation. But what Jesus does, in He gives them, not an explanation, but a visit. He visits them by his Holy Spirit. He sits (so to speak) with them in their grief, and identifies with them in it.The presence of God's Spirit makes the difference between overwhelming grief and grief that is manageable. Yes, He does this through the prayers of others, and yes He even does this when no one is present, but He especially does this when His people care enough to sit and visit, even without words. It's the presence of the friend, that means so much. Jesus is called "Immanuel", meaning God WITH us: present with His people when they call on Him: not just His "theology" present, nor just His doctrines and words present, but He Himself.