I know condolences can be very difficult to write. That is why I am sharing a condolence message I sent to our friend Ingrid, a Norwegian American, after yesterday's horrific events in Norway.
We were so sorry to read about the terrorist murders in Norway. What a terrible, shocking situation. We are hoping that none of your family members, friends, or acquaintances was hurt in the day’s terrible events.
Please accept our condolences on the sad, unspeakable events that took place in the country so close to your heart. We know how peaceful Norway is, which makes these events even more horrible.
We are thinking of you and your family.
As you can tell from the message, I do not know whether Friday's senseless tragedy touched Ingrid's family members or friends closely. If someone you know did lose a loved one or acquaintance, you might write a message like one of these:
Please accept our condolences on the tragic death of your friend Elsa. The terror of the events of July 22 touched all of us, but your loss is deep and personal. We cannot imagine how you feel, but we are very sad that your dear friend is gone.
Know that you are in our thoughts during this sorrowful time.
I was very sorry to learn that one of your coworkers died in the shocking events of July 22. Please accept my deep sympathy for your loss under such tragic circumstances.
You are in my thoughts as you cope with this awful experience.
The messages above are appropriate for business and personal relationships. I hope you do not need to use them.