The companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, got the honor of meeting the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. They really had the best share of loving and venerating him, the thing that made them better than others and no one after them attained and will never attain it from those who come after them.
‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, was asked, "How was your love for the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him?" He replied, "By Allah, we loved him more than our wealth, our sons, our fathers and our mothers, and more than cold water in a time of great thirst."
When the Makkans drove Zayd ibn Ad-Dathimah out of the Haram (Sacred House of Allah, The Almighty) to kill him, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb (when he was still a polytheist) said to him, "I ask you by Allah, Zayd, do not you wish that Muhammad were with us now to take your place so that we could cut off his head, and you were with your family?" Zayd said, "By Allah, I would not wish Muhammad to be now in a place where even a thorn could hurt him if that was the condition for my being with my family!" Abu Sufyan remarked, "I have not seen any people who love anyone the way the Companions of Muhammad love Muhammad."
Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aath, may Allaah be pleased with him, said to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, on the Day of Badr: “O Prophet of Allah, should not we build you a tent at the end of the army and leave your camel beside you? Then start our battle and if Allah, The Almighty, gives us glory and victory over our enemy then this is what we want; otherwise, you sit on your animal and you go back to Medina, where there were more people who loved you and who would have come for help if they had known that you were in that difficult situation, so that you would resume your mission, hold counsel with them and they would strive in the Cause of Allah with you again and again. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, praised him and supplicated Allah, The Almighty, for him with goodness."
It was also narrated that Anas ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “On the Day of ‘Uhud, people of Median was in great turmoil, because some of them claimed that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was killed, to the extent that women were screaming in Medina. A woman from Al-‘Ansaar came out and they brought to her, her son, her father, her husband and her as martyrs (i.e. they had died in the battle). The narrator said: I did not remember who were brought first to her. When she passed by one of them, she asked: Who is this? People said, he is your father, your brother, your husband, and your son. She went to ask: "How is the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him? (She’s checking if the Prophet is in good condition, she was not concerned in seeing her family killed as she was concerned on checking on the Prophet, because of her extreme love and admiration to the Prophet, she asked, how is the messenger of Allah?) People said: "He, peace and blessings be upon him, is there in front of you? She went to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and held the side of his garment and said: “O Messenger of Allah, all the calamites after your safety are easy, even if my family was killed, my husband, and child, and even if my father and brother were killed, what’s important is that you stay safe o messenger of Allah” .
In another variant narration she said: "Every affliction is as nothing now that you are safe."
Moreover, the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, submitted themselves to the judgment of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, regarding themselves and properties saying to him: "Our properties are between your hands and thus decide whatever you want regarding them. Our souls are between your hands and if you were to ask us to plunge into the sea, we will do that most readily. We are also full ready to fight in front of you, behind you, on your right and on your left." This is the most truthful expression of their love to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.