Surrounded near this cliff are signs, reminders — to seek help.
I used to drive up the stop, on nights that I fell empty inside.
Looking at the ocean, standing where many before me would’ve stood — for reasons I cannot possibly understand, yet empathise for what was to come.
Looking past the gap, is an endless body of water; in the night it’s scary.
It growls at you, it feels like it has a life of its own.
Buried within are several memories of lost souls that it has devoured.
Fallen to their misery through the gap.
There was once an angel, who lived across from the gap.
He came to be known as “The Angel of the Gap”, he was an elderly man; one of wisdom.
He saved countless lives in the middle of the night, as he kept watch of the gap from the view that his house provided.
The haunting view of this body of ocean, was his purpose to reach out and talk to these broken individuals; listen to their stories and invite them into his house.
Hoping to change their mind, to give life another chance.
Don Ritchie, was his name.
He was a World War II Veteran.
He worked as an insurance agent in his days after the war.
He was now retired and the purpose he had found for himself was to be the watchful guardian of the gap.
He saved 164 Lives up until his demise in 2012.
He was awarded the “Medal of the Order of Australia”.
I’ve always been afraid of the ocean.
I don’t know how to swim nor have I ever sailed.
I would drive up to this location on many nights, and ponder — of what this body of water represented.
“The Gap”, could this be what fills the emptiness I always felt inside — is that why it’s called “The Gap”?
…Or is it simply a crack through which many have fallen through because they just simply were unable to find something to fill the gap they felt inside, much like I did at the time.
There’s an Emergency Phone Booth — it’s a helpline that implores individuals to reach out.
Yet, the very thought of holding the phone runs fear through my bones.
I cannot speak nor describe what it feels like.
Yet somehow reading about the man who saved 164 Lives is what would motivate me to visit “The Gap” every time I felt hopeless; even though Don Ritchie had departed this world.
His courage and persistence could still be felt.
Feeling as though he stood right beside me, saying what he’d said to many others before me;
“Can I help you in some way?”, he would say.
I’d look down at the bottom of the gap, then face the ocean — taking notice of all the cameras in place, probably being monitored.
The Emergency Phone flashing beside me, “Reach out for help”.
Even after his departure, Don Ritchie did save my life — through his story, bravery, and persistence.
And I’d like to thank him for that, because Mr. Ritchie you did help me; even though I wasn’t around to personally thank you for it — I hope that in some way you were rewarded.
And continue to do so, to many others who visit “The Gap” to this very day.
I hope they too can listen to whispers of what you left behind,
I hope they can answer when they hear of your legacy,
“Can I help you in some way?”