My friend faced this dilemma. She attended a family dinner and said something to her sister-in-law that she immediately knew was out of line. She didn’t know what to do so she said nothing and her sister-in-law let it go. Even though the relationship seems fine and a year has passed, my friend still feels guilty every time she interacts with her sister-in-law and wonders if there is something she can say to make amends.
My friend could write a note and here’s what I recommended: Be honest – let her know that she is someone special in your life and your relationship is important. Mention that you said something to her a year ago at dinner and you’ve been at a loss ever since as to how you might apologize. You never meant to hurt her and you want to let her know how sorry you are for what was said. You can tell her how fortunate you feel to have her as a family member. And use the same close for your note that you’d use in other correspondence with her.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, available in ebooks for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/82066314@N06/14274401760">I am Sorry</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>