A few weeks back, I learned that my coworker and good friend "Jill" was pregnant. I knew some people were throwing a baby shower for her, so when a card was circulated around the office, I wrote something like:
"Congrats!!! Although there will be a lot of crying and sleepless nights, you'll love this new stage of life! Call me when I can bring over dinner." (Jill had brought over a meal for my wife and I when we had our first, so I was fully intending to repay the kind gesture).
A few days later, I was confused when another card went around for Jill. My coworker claimed this was the only card that was circulated. I eventually figured out that I must have actually signed a card for another coworker "Mary" without realizing it. Mary had just lost her spouse, and this was a sympathy card.
I was horrified when I thought through what I had written. My writing wasn't just irrelevant, but could probably be taken as extremely offensive and crude. I like Mary and certainly didn't mean any harm. The card had already been mailed, so there was no getting it back. I went into all out panic mode for the next week.
When Mary returned from bereavement leave, I apologized profusely. I explained the mixup and told her how stupid and sorry I was. She just looked at me said "I do not accept your apology", and walked away.
I feel awful about this situation, but I'm not sure how to proceed. She's understandably upset with me, but I need to fix things between us, especially since Mary is someone I work with on a regular basis. How can I repair our relationship while being respectful of her current circumstance? I feel terrible about this, but I don't know what I can do.