1. First, tell them how genuinely sorry you are (and mean it!).
2. Second, CLOSE YOUR MOUTH! Even if you have some trite statements, the grieving person most likely will not hear it, and more likely may be deeply offended that their loved one’s death is somehow “God’s will”. A grieving heart does not want to hear their loved one is “better off”. Grieving is a long process that will absorb such truths in time, if they apply at all. (I have heard commentators and read Facebook posts that express “rationales” that would be offensive to me if I were the parent of a six year old who was just murdered.)
3. Third, and most importantly, sit down and cry with them. A genuine weeping that comes from sharing their grief.
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”