So just this very morning, I was asked this on Quora.com:
"What are the general requirements for a good, authentic apology?"
To which Auntie replied:
Demonstrate that you understand why it was the wrong thing to do.
Acknowledge the full extent of the consequences for which your action was the catalyst -- even if you had no intention of causing those consequences. They wouldn't have happened if you hadn't done what you did, so they're also your fault.
Express remorse. Details why you regret your actions will be more welcome than rationalization or excuses.
At this point it is traditional to announce your plans to rectify the problem and prevent it from happening again. This will be as credible as your personal history warrants.
1. My beautiful darlings, I'm very sorry I have neglected you for the last six months.
2. Some of you will have moved on. Most of you probably will never even see this. The rest of you may not care.
3. Your Auntie does love you, but I'm lazy and vain and I get lots of responses on Quora without having to think up a subject or something about which to drivel.
4. Since joining Quora, my lapses have been so long that I doubt I could promise to blog more often and still keep a sincere expression on my face. That said, I just made a whole mess of cookies and I'd be happy to give you some. Plus a hug.