When Drew Westfield ran around at one of his countless training sessions for Clarence in the TSL in 2008 his brother Mat was not there.
Having forged a bond only brothers can over their lifetime together, Drew immediately thought it was strange his brother was missing in action.
Not long before, Drew had popped home to grab his footy gear and seen his brother sleeping before shooting off to training.
But Drew would never train alongside his brother again.
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Mat Westfield's death in 2008 rocked the Tasmanian footballing community.
Widely regarded as the best player in the league, Mat had played VFL, trained with the Melbourne Demons, dominated for South Launceston, won a Darrel Baldock medal, and been the youngest player to win a flag in the seniors at the Bulldogs.
While the footy world mourned, his brother and best friend Drew grappled with his death.
At his brothers funeral, he ended his eulogy with a promise that his death "would not go to waste for nothing and for no meaning".
The messaging was cryptic to most in attendance, but Drew knew Mat had actually chosen to take his own life.
He had discovered notes detailing as much in his brother's bedroom shortly after police arrived on his doorstep to tell him he had died in a car crash on the Midland Highway.
It was a secret he harboured. He held it close to his chest in an attempt to protect his family, Mat's friends, and ultimately himself.
"I discovered four letters written to myself, Mat's partner, one to my mum and one to my dad," Drew said.
[At his funeral] I was the only one aware of the letters, and I was probably the only one aware of them for about 12 months.- Drew Westfield
"I just thought with what everyone was coping with, adding that to it was going to make the situation worse for everyone."
Particularly with the benefit of hindsight Drew knew his brother was never 100 per cent and noticed he continually battled with societal stipulations of how a male athlete should be and behave.
"When I was about 15 or 16 I became aware of the battle Mat was going through," he said.
"I found his first suicide letter when I came home from high school one afternoon. He'd had a few issues that were compounding themselves.
"He had the disappointment of not getting drafted to the AFL, he had a bad knee injury the year before, and he lost his passion and drive for his football. But I think the biggest battle for him was living this facade that he was this great athlete that people loved being around and he was a happy guy.
Underneath that, there was a lot more going on.- Drew Westfield
The impact his brother's death had on him was profound, and like many others in his situation Drew's own mental health deteriorated.
A bond forged in the family kitchen, over TV dinners and tearing up the footy field meant the paths the brothers walked were remarkably similar.
Not only were boyhood stories and rivalries shared, emotions were, too.
So not long after Mat's suicide, Drew started following him along the same path.
"I moved across to Melbourne just to get away from my problems and the memories," Drew said.
I started drinking and partying too much and things came to a bit of a crossroads for me as well where I found myself very much in the same position that Mat was in.- Drew Westfield
"The thing that made me not act on it was thinking about what it would do to my mum and dad.
"It was a bit of an out of body experience where just overnight I woke up the next morning and said, 'I've got to get myself out of this mess that I'm in', and the only way I thought I could do that was to make myself stronger physically and mentally."
After working tirelessly on both his physical and mental health, Drew got to the point where he felt he could more easily discuss his experiences with mental ill-health.
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Encouraged by a friend, he started writing about those experiences.
What started as a therapeutic and cathartic venture that saw him "sobbing, with tears drenching [his] cheeks" turned into something more.
It is not a published book called Until The End that represents a culmination of Drew's reflection on his own, and Mat's, life.
"The end", in the sense of the book, is a milestone for Drew and an important step in finding closure for his brother's death and the next step on his own mental health journey.
Drew said the importance of his story, in being the story of the everyday man, could help to break down stigma that he said led to Mat taking his own life.
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"I know he thought it was weak of him to go into hospital, but it was to say that he wasn't able to access what he needed."
I know he thought it was weak of him to go into hospital, but it was to say that he wasn't able to access what he needed.- Drew Westfield
While Drew said these barriers are being comprehensively broken down now, they can still exist, and introducing his story to the discussion could help out the next person in the same situation.
His intention in conveying his story is for others to learn, and benefit, from what he and his brother dealt with in their lives.
"I am not a remarkable person. I haven't achieved any incredible things. I've just experienced a lot of what everyday people will experience. And the reason for me writing is to share it to shine a light on us to help others through it," he said.
"I haven't necessarily got anything incredible to write about but there's just this one story to tell, and that's it."
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