I just saw the news. Time is crunch right now, and I'm sure others with far more credentials will comment on his life and papacy.
Pope John Paul II passed shortly after we began our journey into the Church. Therefore Pope Benedict was pope by the time we officially entered. That's why we have a special place in our lives and a feeling of connection with him.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.