GRATITUDE: Claudia Mason’s message, one year later

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.)

12 Replies to "GRATITUDE: Claudia Mason's message, one year later"

  • Compassionate Neighbor July 14, 2023 (9:23 pm)

    Claudia, that is a beautiful trbute to your dear late Husband Robb. Thank you for sharing your grief journey, gratitude to those that helped you, and for information that can help others. Highlighting the positive side of of Robb’s tragic death is encouraging others grieving. 

  • Scrappy July 14, 2023 (9:38 pm)

    So pointed, and well written. I am filled with sadness. You, Claudia, and Robb, weigh heavy in my heart tonight. Sending strength from me to you.

  • Alki resident July 14, 2023 (9:48 pm)

    Robb was my massage therapist years ago and everyday Im reminded that he fixed me back to how I was before a minor car accident. I’m grateful for your update on how you as a sudden widow , has had to completely change course and I’m livid that the hit and run driver is still at home enjoying life. This is a crime in itself. God Bless you Claudia. You truly had an incredible husband. 

  • Karen July 14, 2023 (9:55 pm)

    Dear ClaudiaWhat a beautifully written gratitude and rememberance piece to Robb,  yourself and the people that have helped you during this unimaginable time. Thank you for sharing 💔♥️

  • 1994 July 14, 2023 (10:57 pm)

    I am so sad for your loss.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful words of gratitude.  Stay strong.

  • Linda Fane July 15, 2023 (3:21 am)

    What a gift you give to others in sharing your deep gratitude and sorrow. 

  • PB July 15, 2023 (5:32 am)

    Thank you for Claudia and WSB for this remembrance of Robb. I had an appointment scheduled with him the week after his death last year and was shocked and saddened when I got the call from Highline. Robb brought healing and joy to many with his talent as a massage therapist, but more importantly with his good humor and humanity. He is missed by many. 

  • verklempt July 15, 2023 (7:25 am)

    Claudia, I am in tears right now.  No one should have to go through what you have endured this past yearIt is heartening to know that there are so many who have propped you up when you needed it .You are a strong woman and I wish you peace and kindness going forward. 

  • Primo Quique July 15, 2023 (7:44 am)

    Querida Claudia, desde Buenos Aires tan lejos en la distancia pero muy cerca en los sentimientos. Te mando un abrazo enorme para transmitirte todo el cariño de familia que nos tenemos.  Te quiero mucho!

  • Mitiam Monti July 15, 2023 (10:36 am)

    Querida Claudia,como dice Enrique desde lejos,pero siempre cerca tuyo.Estas siempre presente en nuestros corazones.Y no me cabe duda alguna, que Robb esta a tu lado y siempre lo estará. TE QUEREMOS MUCHO!!!!

  • Kristin White July 15, 2023 (11:44 am)

    Claudia: You, Robb, and both of your Families are in my daily affirmations to find some sort of direction, healing and balance as possible at this difficult time. Finding that sense of balance in all of this will take a lifetime. Your Friends are there to support you and help you as you need during this difficult journey. You be YOU. Do whatever you need to find your comfort as possible. Much love to you.

  • Ann Adkins July 17, 2023 (10:11 pm)

    Claudia, Robb helped me rehab after both of my knee replacements years ago and I so enjoyed my sessions with him and our conversations (well the conversation part anyway, tho he did teach me to breath thru the pain part).  He always spoke of you with such love, the joy and devotion was obvious.  He is such a good and caring soul.  My heart goes out to you. 

Sorry, comment time is over.