Beliefnet member hopefulinChrist summed up Pausch’s influence beautifully: "I cannot think of anyone more inspiring to so many people, people from all over the world. I feel he has changed so many lives by teaching all of us how important each day is--to not live in the past or future but to enjoy the present. None of us know how much time we have so we have to make the most of every day. We need to spend time with those we love and not put off things we want to do or say. The world will miss this wonderful man. I'm so glad he was nominated."

The week he died, thousands of people from around the world posted on The Last Lecture website to send their condolences and let his wife and children know of the impact Pausch had on their lives. Here is just a tiny sampling:

July 29th, 2008 at 9:15 pm
Jai, Dylan, Logan and Chloe--I just watched an ABC special tonight about your father and husband and was touched beyond anything. Randy seemed like a wonderful man and I extend my sympathies to all of you. I am studying to become a teacher and I plan to use him as a role model in my life. I am very sad that he has passed away but he was a wonderful person and just remember that he would probably want all of us to continue being happy and greet each new day with joy and laughter! --Janeen Romp

July 29th, 2008 at 9:16 pm
I am only 14. And I am still uncovering where I want to go. However after hearing about Randy, and how much of an impact he has had, and always will- no matter where he is, and how he always had such an inspired and brilliant way of looking at everything I feel better than great. Because he gave me the ability to persevere and just live life absolutely. He is such an idol to me, and I hope to grow up to become even a fourth of what he was. I have to highest respect for his family and friends, and wish you all the best. --Morgan

July 29th, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Like so many others, after reading Randy's book, I felt I "knew" him, he became a "friend", someone I cared about, someone who mattered. I followed his health blogs and often became worried when days would go by and no news. I once wrote in an earlier blog several weeks ago that I found it ironic that a dying man was teaching us all how to live. So many of us loved Randy, and hoped above hope and prayed so often that Randy would get his miracle. Now, I realize the irony of that. For you see, RANDY WAS THE MIRACLE!! He changed so many of our lives and gave us such a refreshing new outlook on life, about relationships, about honoring what is precious to us and living our lives to the fullest for as long as we can. He also made us realize that diseases may kill our bodies, but we can choose not to let them kill our spirits. Our time on this earth is limited. None of us know exactly the date we will die, not even Randy knew. But he decided that he was going to fight the good fight, leave a legacy for his family and friends, make a difference in this world...--Patty Attway

July 26th, 2008 at 11:10 pm
On Friday I lost a friend I never met. Randy has changed my life forever. I spend my days teach others how to save lives and handle the grief after loses. Randy was an inspiration and he will live on during my classes and my life. Randy was special and unique. After reading his book I rewrote my own mission statement "Changing Life One Day at a Time" I am no longer an Eeyore. --Donn Parris

July 30th, 2008 at 1:07 pm
Dear Mrs. Pausch, Words cannot express how my heart aches for your loss. I have been following your story with Randy ever since I was introduced to the last lecture. The courage and strength that you both expressed was an inspiration to my entire family, and most importantly, to the millions of people fortunate enough to be touched by the two of you. I can truly say that my life, my spirit has been forever improved by Randy. Humankind is better because it has been touched by Randy.-- stephen feinberg

July 30th, 2008 at 10:14 pm
Thank you for giving me back my life. --jean54

The messages continue to this day. Recently, someone contemplating suicide spoke of gaining renewed hope from "The Last Lecture":

December 5th, 2008 at 3:02 am
Few days ago I thought about end up my life...because I lost my job and nothing's going well. I read "the last lecture" this afternoon in the bookstore...and cried 5 times before put it down. I realised it is the day he really wanted. And he gave me lots of words. Thank you. I can do whatever I hope with following his words. Thank you again. --Hyolee

This is the ongoing legacy of Randy Pausch, and the reason we have selected him as our Most Inspiring Person of 2008.