Be there for them. Don't tell them you know how they feel - you can't. Listen to them instead of telling them about similar situations or such. When you do say something tell them you will be there for them. If they cry just hold onto them and don't say anything - sometimes its nice for you to cry along with them. If they have an errand or little job to do (such as cutting the grass or getting the oil changed in their car, just do it for them. Don't ask. Be there FOR THEM - your actions will speak far louder than any words you might say.
don't tell them how to feel. That's when they get pissed or more depressed. It's not always best to joke around when someone is being serious, but sometimes a random sillyness can help. In my experience, listening and advising;only if you know what you are advising, but mainly listening and hearing too are the best combat. When someone just needs a shoulder, give them a hug...and hug them back, tell them its not ok, but it can only get better, with time and more free hugs...
but most of all, dig. I had a friend who cut, but I didn't understand WHAT his depression was until he told me exactly what he felt when he bled. It's amazing, but know how to...be interested in their feelings, not fakey and I'm sorry.
Don't try to fix them - just listen.
Listen. Smile. Make a little joke. Feed them comfort food. Make sure they are warm, dry, & not lonely. Help them with their problem if I can.
My best advice is
If it's a girl: a warm blanket, good movies or music, chocolate, and a friend who is more than willing to be there.
If it's a guy: movies with explosives/guns, friends, liquor or beer, and a spare couch to crash on when it's all said and done.
just hang around,let them have the additional comfort of knowing someone too has been so affected by the loss that she also is off her normal schedule.if you have to go to work ,show your face before work and after work show up and stay for about an hour.without sayying much it will be so obvius you share the pain.
dont attempt to hurry the victim out of the pain,the pain will naturally dulled as time rolls by.GOD will also bless you for your time and care.
It has been my experience that we have an innate need and desire to connect with another. When I have to comfort someone, I speak gently with a nonjudgemental tone and tell them that I am here for them and am a good listener.
Also, wrapping one up both physically and metaphorically can induce feelings of well-being. I gently touch them on their hand or shoulder and if they want to be held, I do that too.
Also, I offer comfort food or nonalcoholic drink to them. I don't know about you, but when I am emotionally upset, I quit eating and my body becomes chemically unbalanced. Sometimes we can "break bread" and relax.
Lastly, once they have calmed down, I check back on them afterwards, whether through phone or in person just to make sure they are okay. I think that helps people to know they have a good support system in place and that in itself can be of great comfort. : )
If they feel like talking to you....LISTEN!
Lend them your ear. And reassure them that your there for them night or day if something should arise that they need your company.
I've always tried helping the person to find what it is that is causing that pain and then to help them find a way to over come that. But that is one of the hardest things to do, I think just being there like Rusted said also helps a lot too. It's amazing how much a hug can heal.
Be there for them. Say hi. Hug if they want it. Listen to them.