Many interesting and helpful perspectives here, thanks!
This is really nice. I would like to just sit next to the friend and be with them for a few moments in silent understanding, but even that isn't possible, adding to my sadness and frustration with not being able to do anything, even though all I can do is very little anyway. I'm pretty much limited to texting, which drives me crazy anyway because I'm so focused on body language and nonverbal communication.Hopefully, I did offer some help. I completely identify with your friend. I have been known to go into hiding before, just so I could sort out my thoughts and determine what my feelings were. For example, when my brother died, I couldnt' even write about my feelings much less share them with another human being. The greatest thing anyone did for me during that time was when this guy that I was going to school with saw me sitting alone on the steps and he walked over and took my hand in his. He never said one word to me, but he just sat there, holding my hand in complete silence. I didn't express any kind of emotion at all to him and he didn't demand any. It was the most understanding thing anyone has ever done for me.
The friend did mention being angry too. I'd actually like to be lashed out at, and even more, because it seems like the ultimate in empathy, and I'd feel like I was taking some of burden of the strong emotions from my friend. Thank you.When I cry, I do so alone and if I am cornered by others, I may actually lash out. It's just that some of us have to shut out everybody else to keep in touch with who we are and to make sense of the change that grief often brings in our lives. I hope that makes sense. And I also think you are a terrific person for wanting to help your friend, so maybe just an "I'm here for ya, buddy."