A tragic anniversary is hours away. Robb Mason was killed by a hit-run driver as he bicycled home from his job in West Seattle on July 15, 2022. His wife Claudia Mason wants to mark the occasion with this message centered on gratitude:
Tomorrow marks one year since my husband, Robb Mason, was brutally killed by a hit-and-run driver while commuting by bicycle from West Seattle. I’ve spent this past year learning how to live without my best friend, a devoted companion and the love of my life. While the year has flown by, each day has felt like an eternity. Making the transition from wife to widow has been excruciating and my life has been put on a course that I didn’t ask for and that I would have never chosen.
The support of my family and friends has been indispensable in helping me bear this burden, but what I had not anticipated was the crucial role that so many others would play in processing Robb’s unnatural and very public death. I have met too many people to count and while some have jobs that may, at times, expose them to the worst of humanity (which was done to my husband), every one of them, through their competence, compassion, patience, and understanding revealed to me the best of humanity.
Although I cannot list them all, I offer here a small selection as well as my heartfelt thanks.
There were those who took great care of Robb’s body, including Rescue One, the Seattle Fire Department. and the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. A special place in my heart is reserved for the wonderful people at Return Home who, for the funeral, presented Robb with dignity in spite of his terrible injuries so that I could see him one final time to say goodbye.
There were those who worked and continue to work at getting some justice for him and for me: the Seattle Police Department, the King County Prosecutor, and my civil attorneys at Washington Bike Law.
There were those who honored him in their quest to make our streets safer; Seattle Critical Mass, Washington Bikes, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways with support from the offices of the Mayor and the SDOT director.
There were those in institutions, organizations, and government agencies who helped with the seemingly endless transactions that are required when a person dies. To my sad surprise I learned that our state provides benefits to families of homicide victims and the empathetic employees at the Labor & Industries Crime Victims Compensation Program helped connect me to them.
Finally, there were countless people who offered small yet important acts of kindness to show that Robb’s life mattered. Along with all the cards, flowers and GoFundMe donations, a lovely condolence wind chime arrived at my home sent by Regence BlueShield when they learned that one of their own massage therapy providers had been killed.
My life continues to be transformed through all the people I have met and new bonds have been established amongst my family, friends and acquaintances which have made our community stronger than it was before. Out of tragedy has come unity, love and hope.
We can never predict when tragedy will strike us but we may take comfort in knowing that our community is ready and willing to lend support when it does. I wish that I hadn’t had to learn this firsthand but it nonetheless fills me with gratitude.
Claudia V. Mason – Magnolia resident and a victim of traffic violence
(At present, the person charged with the death of my husband remains on home electronic detention.)