What might the consequences be if you fail to respond correctly, e.g for relatives?
I want to avoid the word “wrong”, and would prefer to use the word “clumsy” instead. After all, there are presumably no ill intentions behind whatever action is taken. A widow told me of her own experience in which the company responded very clumsily to the situation: her husband had spent several decades working for a company, and upon his death, she received a card with a standard message. There was no personal note in it, no anecdote, nothing. She didn’t receive a wreath or any flowers at the funeral either. A few of her husband’s colleagues did go to the funeral, but they had to take time off or exchange overtime for it. None of the managers came. Small gestures are what can make a big difference. The secretary later called to ask whether the wife could come and pick up her husband’s things, which were handed over to her in a box. The window was unable to visit the place her husband had spent decades working, and where he died. A few small, thoughtful gestures could have made such an enormous difference. A letter of condolences and attending the funeral are a vital part of company grief etiquette.