Thom Ryng, a fellow I know from Seattle, happened to be visiting Rome a few weeks ago--and just happened to be there when the Pope died. In fact, he was visiting the Vatican that day, and purely by serendipity ended up being one of the first people ushered in to Saint Peters to see the Pope lying in state.
As I climbed the steps of the basilica, I turned around to survey the crowd. There were perhaps twenty people ahead of me, but there were a million behind me.
His story is here.