It’s so interesting that we as humans (in general) know how to appropriately respond to good news. And to bad news. But you articulate so beautifully how hard it is to know what to say or do when people share ambiguous news (is it good? is it bad? how do I not stick my foot in it?) and also how hard it can be on the receiving end of people’s communication floundering.
But I think you’re right, compassion on all sides is the only way through.