Eventually in this kind of situation, I find that some part of me just relents. It's not that I quit trying to help him, of course; it's just that I eventually accept that - for the moment at least - I am utterly and completely powerless. Today I simply could not stop his suffering.
Strange as it may seem, I feel as if something extraordinarily good came out of it. Holding him as he cried, incapable of soothing him, I instead looked into his eyes and simply took him in. It is a rare moment when one can look into the eyes of someone so upset and not shrivel up and retreat in one form or another. It taught me something. I think I grew closer to him today. I would prefer, of course, that HG not suffer through that kind of thing at all. Still and all, I consider myself fortunate to have been there when it happened.