Condolence: (n) an expression of sympathy, especially on the occasion of a death.
Condolence is a word that tries to define another word, which fails to clarify any meaning.
Expressing sympathy is ambiguous by itself. Saying that expressing sympathy is a condolence further muddies the waters of comprehension.
There are times in life when being specific is required. Very simply, these occasions would be during joy and within sadness.
When we are overjoyed, we should be bubbling, with a great testimony of what sparked our soul with purpose.
And when sadness places a dark cloud in front of our eyes, we need to be able to personalize that pain, granting it a genuine, human quality.
I do not want to express my condolence to you, nor do I feel inclined to send my sympathy.
What I want to tell you is that when I heard of your anguish, it stopped my day. My brain put a moratorium on any further thoughts, and for a while I was transported in my spirit to your side, speechless, not wanting to do anything but embrace you and let you know that you are not alone.
(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)