STORRS, Conn. — Whose apology do you need to hear? If that person accepted responsibility for pain that he or she caused you and asked, in all sincerity, for your forgiveness, what in your life would change?

When I posed this question on both my public and personal Facebook pages, I knew I’d get interesting responses.

Friends from the United Kingdom wanted apologies from those who voted for Brexit. Americans want apologies from members of Congress, Dick Cheney (just in general) and the writers of the TV series “Lost” (old grudges remain in place).

Ex-partners, unsurprisingly, were also often mentioned. Perhaps my pal Deborah Bacon Nelson most effectively explained the desire to hear an apology from a former spouse when she wrote, “I wish I could say I’ve let it go, but an apology from my wasband, who ended a 35-year marriage but refused to talk about it, would still be nice.”

What I didn’t expect was for so many folks to say the person whose apology they’d most need to hear was “my mother’s.”

Sure, that’s how I’d begin my answer, but – despite realizing that I’m as generic as it’s possible to be without needing a bar code – I didn’t believe that everybody else I happen to know felt exactly the same way.

Many of the responses went something like this:

“My mother has no idea of the pain she caused me by loving me less than my siblings and not even trying to hide it.”

“My mom made me feel fat, ugly and useless because it helped her feel better about herself.”

“My mother, without consciously wishing me harm, wrecked my childhood by forcing me to become everything she wanted to be instead of taking into account what I enjoyed. I failed her and we were both miserable.”

What apology do I need from my mother? I’d like to hear her say that she was sorry about throwing away the daily diaries I inscribed as faithfully as a monk, from age 11 to 15. She threw them away a few months before she died, explaining that I wouldn’t want to read them when I was older because there was “nothing important” in them and because they were “depressing.”

At my worst, I still feel the same sense of fingernail running down my spine or of a sharp stick drawn across the bottom of a bare foot that I felt when I realized they were gone. It’s a flaying, a peeling away of layers of protection and of boundaries.

At my best, I imagine she didn’t want me to revisit the last days of her illness or the sadness of her life. But of course I do, coupling them inevitably with a selfish sense of loss, both of the cheap notebooks and the irreplaceable parent. I’ve spent a lot of time forgiving the dead.

Others wished to be asked for forgiveness, not from anyone else, but from themselves.

Kathleen Moore Broderick, a nurse practitioner, says, “I need to apologize to myself. For every time I settled for less. Every time I avoided happiness because I was afraid. For every time I didn’t honor myself.”

My college friend Nicholas Newman answered, “I can never forgive myself for small missteps and grotesque wrong turns.”

Because I’ve known him since our first youth, I replied immediately and with authority. I promised him that the earlier Nick did what he did for reasons that were right for him at the time, just as the younger Gina did stuff that now baffles me but that she saw as the only thing possible.

And because I do have the diaries from my college days, I can prove it – even if I can no longer explain it.

I received an in-person apology from my brother, who was sitting at the kitchen table as I started the column. Hugo admitted that he shouldn’t have shamed me into not buying the 45-rpm record of “See You in September” in 1966. He thought it was a dumb song, but I loved it.

You know what? It felt surprisingly good to accept his apology.

It felt so good that I am considering what apologies I might be overdue to make and even asked my brother for suggestions, which feels like an excellent start for some positive change.