In my job as geriatric nurse, this is a pre-programed crisis. People come with: the loss of their home, their health, independance, hope, fiends, and even their lives. Each person in turn presents their problem in a unique way. Some want sympathy, advice, or agreement. But many I have learned don`t want anything. They just want someone to listen and talk. This I think is what is the hardest for a listener. Very often we feel helpless, something has to be done. So we have a problem with ourselves and not with others situation. Just being with someone is hard.