Samara O'Shea

Sample Apology Letter

Sample Apology Letter

So you’ve done something wrong. You’re human. It happens. You’ve admitted it to yourself and now it’s time to admit it to the other person. Letters are a great way to apologize because you can explain yourself thoroughly, and the act of writing one demonstrates that you’re willing to take the time to mull over what you’ve done. However, even in letter form apologizing is difficult to do, so of you’d like some help let me know.

This letter is one I’ve made up for characters in the movie Beaches. Even if you haven’t seen the movie you can follow along. This is from Hillary to Cecilia after Hillary has slept with the man Cecilia adores—a deadly move in the face of any friendship.

To: Cecilia Bloom (Bette Midler’s Character in the movie Beaches)
From: Hillary Whitney
Circa 1988

I don’t think there’s anything I can say here that I haven’t said to you already. But I’d like to say it again in a more articulate manner without the tension of our last meeting, with the hope that I might reiterate how truly sorry I am.

One of your most notable qualities is your grace, and I was amazed at how that came through even as you spoke with me, plagued in hurt and anger. I realize I never should have seen your grace under fire, and I can’t apologize enough for putting you in a position in which you had to use it. Mistakes happen in a moment and it takes days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years to make up for them. I ask you to believe that this mistake of mine did not happen in a moment of malice or competition, but rather a moment of absent-minded selfishness that I’d like to eradicate.

This is no excuse, but please understand that I’ve never lived this life before. I’ve existed under the caring yet domineering eye of my father for 25 years and to come to New York and live with you has given me a new perspective—and, regrettably, a sense of unruliness. As I said, this is no excuse and I regret wholeheartedly that my first taste of freedom resulted in the risk of losing you.

I cannot retract what I did. I can only offer infinite apologies and a promise to never again leave our friendship unguarded. If I have been half the friend to you that you’ve been to me, then I ask you to forgive me and hope that you’ll at least consider it.

With sincerity and chagrin,