Restorative & Solution-Focused Gratitude & Apology Letter Guidelines For Loves Ones


Hawai‘i Friends of Justice & Civic Education
Restorative & Solution-Focused Gratitude & Apology Letter Guidelines for Loves Ones
Sometimes we hurt people unintentionally or intentionally who we care about and are grateful for. In these
cases you can address the harm by writing a letter about how you have changed, express your gratitude, and
If there is a protective order preventing you from contacting anyone you must respect that. Even though you
are sorry and grateful for the person you hurt, you must never cause further pain by attempting to make
amends. If your situation is serious and there is no protective order but you believe the person you hurt may be
afraid of you, do not send the letter directly to them and instead ask another third party who knows you both to
deliver the letter.
If your case is serious and you are incarcerated show your letter to someone who works at the prison such as a
Chaplin or a counselor and ask them to review it and sign it with a statement that they reviewed it, and ask
them to contact your harmed loved one and request their permission for the letter to be sent to them. You never
want to risk furthering harming someone.
The following letter guidelines are based on work by Martin Seligman, PhD, founder of positive psychology
from the University of Pennsylvania, Ben Furman, MD, psychiatrist from Finland; and Lorenn Walker, JD,
MPH Hawai‘i public health educator & conflict management lawyer. Furman and Walker also developed
[Fill in [bracketed] information with the specific facts about your situation and copy what is in bold]
[Write your name & address on letter]
[Fill in date you are writing letter]
Dear [person’s name you are grateful for and who you have also hurt. If more than one person is involved please write
each person a separate letter]:
First, I want you to know that I have come to appreciate how precious life is and realize I want to do better for
those I care about and for myself. I am not just saying this. I have worked hard and have [List all accomplishments
you have made since you hurt who you are writing]
Second, I want to thank you. I am grateful to you for [Describe what specifically the person did that has made a
meaningful difference in your life that you are grateful for]
You have made a difference because [Describe the meaningful difference the person you are thanking has made for
others, e.g. “Your taking care of (child’s name) has helped (her or him survive in my absence), etc…”]
I deeply appreciate all your hard work and kindness in [doing whatever they did that you are thanking them for]
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Third, I want to apologize to you for [Describe what you did to the person you’re writing that was hurtful, wrong, or
unfair towards him/her]
My actions were hurtful and I want you to know that I truly regret my behavior.
I have been thinking about what happened and I feel that I have learned a lesson. I have learned that: [Describe
what you have learned]
p.o. box 3654 • Honolulu • HI • 96811 • ph: (808) 637-2385 •
Downloaded   f rom  


00 votes

Related Articles

Related forms

Related Categories

Parent category: Letters
Page of 2