And for further consideration, how about throwing in “sympathy” into the mix. Looked up the synonyms — they include empathy and compassion, with an interesting differentiation according to Dictionnary.com: “Sympathy is the broadest of these terms, signifying a general kinship with another’s feelings, no matter of what kind.” Yet, it’s the word most used in sympathy cards sent when someone dies. . . Probably because in these instances, one can’t do anything about it!