Sorry for the delay in responding, everyone - I've had guests and limited online time.
Everyone does grieve differently, and alice is certainly doing it her way. I have never seen christmas cards signed for the deceased. You were perfectly polite to send the card only to alice.
O nlyunfortunate exception was when an uncle died suddenly a couple weeks before christmas, and he and his wife had signed and mailed christmas cards, which arrived right after he died
I could see your scenario with the death and the cards coming so close, but there's a six month gap between Robert's death and Alice posting the cards. Still, I do understand that everyone grieves in their own way and I need to work on being more patient with her and put our history aside. What deisel_darlin said (below) of her own experience brought things into a better perspective for me.
When my son's godmother gives him a card or gift, she always signs it from her and her husband, eventhough her husband has been dead for a couple of years. My son treasures each and every one and totally gets her intention.
I thought that there would be another side to this somewhere. I can see where there is a precious relationship
like that, there is a sense of continuance that your son finds comforting and *right*. I think I rather envy him that.
My parents had friends who sadly had a miscarriage in March, several years ago. That year, my parents received a Christmas card from their friends, from the Husband, the Wife, AND the baby who they'd lost 9 months previously. I remember that it made my parents very uncomfortable to receive that card. But I guess people grieve differently.
To the OP, I don't think you were rude at all, not to directly mention your late uncle in your card. I personally would think it strange if you'd addressed it to "Aunt and Late Uncle."
Yes, that's it. I was made uncomfortable and perhaps, now I think about it, there was a smidgeon of resentment about that which, added to my usual dislike of Alice's histrionics, made me a little too impatient. I genuinely do believe that she is grieving, but it boils down to her way is not my way. I wouldn't ever call her on this, you understand, but it did seem odd, even for her. I'm relieved that I wasn't out of line in the response.
I still have a Christmas card from my Grandma that was sent to me the year my PawPaw died. He died on December 14th. I never opened it. I know that Grandma signed it with only Love Grandma instead of Love Grandma and PawPaw, so I just couldnt bear to open it.
I dont know how I would feel if I were still getting cards years later signed Grandma and PawPaw though. I dont think you did anything wrong at all, OP.
My father died in May 2009, two weeks before my birthday. I was upset getting a card from my mother, just from her alone (I think though, that I'd have been even more upset if she'd signed it for both, as usual). But that remembrance - thank you for it - has put what Alice did into a much better perspective for me than anything else. Dad's loss was very raw, just as your PawPaw's was. For Alice, Robert's death must still be very raw even after six months, which I suppose isn't really very long.
Thank you, everyone, for your advice and help. I do have a better understanding of where Alice is coming from, and while I'm relieved that no-one thinks I was unkind in my response to her, I know that my thoughts were not very charitable. That's what I'll work on, when next I see her.