The walk up to the lookout is lined with signs that display the numbers of crisis hotlines. When I ask Bella why, she explains that the cliffs have developed a reputation as a destination for suicides.
It’s a beautifully rugged place, The Gap. The two promontories, north and south, tower like stone guardians beside the entrance where the harbor meets the Tasman Sea. A breeze nips at patches of skin that clothes forgot to shield. In Sydney the water is always inky blue, but especially here, where waves that grasp at cliffs are pulled back into limitless pools. Behind, the buildings of Sydney are sprinkled like afterthoughts.
Bella and I stay for only twenty minutes, but it is enough for me to breathe in the immensity of the air and feel the press of surrender. I know that feeling: sometimes it is 2:30 a.m.—as it is now—and I lie sleepless in bed, conjuring fantasies in my mind to stave off the loneliness. This is my way of coping.
We can never know the final thoughts of the departed, but we can pray that they are absent of pain and fear. I hope the ones we failed have moved on to a world that is more loving. If nothing else, I hope that, in the liberation of free-fall, for a moment they found peace.
The Gap in Watsons Bay sits on the eastern edge of Sydney and is a popular weekend destination. The lookout atop the cliff affords breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea and of the houses of Sydney scattered to the west. If you’d like to spend more time away from the city center, extend your visit to a full-day affair by visiting the Watsons Bay Wharf, Camp Cove, and the Hornby Lighthouse.
Gap Road, Watsons Bay
02 9391 7000