I tried to help my wife get through losing her mother two weeks ago. She was in Canada with her family, and all I had to offer in our phone calls were words and phrases that sounded empty and meaningless. I didn't know what to say, so I just listened as much as I could and let her talk.
But I couldn't truly offer helpful presence, because I wasn't there. After two weeks, when she finally returned home, I could offer that real presence and touch. When I think of offering comfort, it usually takes some kind of touch.
Hold on to people who are hurting so that don't feel so alone. So many people need to be touched. Offer your love, your attention, and your touch. It is all blessed and healing.