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Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with condolence notes. Not only have I written many condolence cards, but also I’ve been the recipient of others’ sympathy. And yet even with all my experience, each time I have to write a condolences note it’s still difficult.

Yesterday, actor James Gandolfini died at age 51 in Italy, apparently from a heart attack. (Gandolfini is best known for his role as Tony Soprano in the HBO hit series "The Sopranos," as well as roles in films such as "True Romance," "In the Loop," and "Zero Dark Thirty.") According to TMZ, Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily.

A few nights ago I got a desperate call from a close friend: “Can I wear sneakers to a funeral service?”

This Sunday is going to be an emotionally difficult day for me. While many people will be celebrating how amazing their dads are, I will be reminded of how wonderful my dad was.