Great article, and timely, with so many people losing loved ones, jobs, and more.
The platitudes people offer--presumably well-meant but inexcusably offensive just the same.
And the ones from super-religious folks are invariably the worst. "Everything happens for a reason" or "It's all part of God's perfect plan" make me want to throw things. No, shit just happens. Deal with it.
Or "God will never burden you with more than you can bear," which ignores the fact of people getting squished beneath their burdens every single day.
You want to acknowledge someone's pain, say something like, "I'm so sorry" or "That really sucks." "Is there anything that I can do for you?" is also good.