A short condolence message may consist of an acknowledgement of loss, expression of sympathy, appreciation of the accomplishments of the deceased and a respectful closing salutation. The sympathizer should show sincerity in his message.
A short condolence message is typically appropriate when a well-wisher isn't very close to the grieving person. However, the length of the condolence message doesn't matter as long as the well-wisher remains sincere. Regardless of the relationship, the message should use a personal tone. A well-wisher may use common expressions, such as "my thoughts and prayers are with you," "with deepest sympathy" and "may he rest in peace," in case he has nothing to say that comes from the heart. He may include his contact information as a sign of reaching out to the grieving person.
The purpose of a condolence message is to comfort the bereaved and help him go through the grief and mourning process. The well-wisher should avoid adding unnecessary and insensitive remarks in the message, including reminders of debts, improper clichés and insults to the deceased. In addition, the sympathizer should not recount his own previous losses or say that he understands how the bereaved feels because the bereaved has his own way of mourning the loss of a loved one.