Sympathy cards are sent to show care and concern to those left behind. When an immediate member of one’s own family dies, it is not necessary to send sympathy cards. Often times grandparents, parents, and children are all grieving the loss of their loved one together in very similar ways. They are there for each other physically and emotionally. They will grieve as a family with hugs, tears, and a physical presence.
However, it would be appropriate to send sympathy cards or condolence messages to a relative outside of the nuclear family. A bereavement card sent to an aunt or uncle, a cousin, or an in-law would be a caring way to show that you are concerned and are acknowledging their loss. In addition to sending sympathy cards to those relatives who share in that loss, it might also be a helpful gesture to prepare a homemade meal, some freshly baked items, or a fruit basket to ease the burden of preparing food during the grieving process. Always call in advance before delivering a food item to make sure it is a convenient time for the family.
Your thoughtfulness during a difficult time by reaching out with sympathy greetings made more personal by hand writing a sincere sentiment will be a gestured long remembered.