Jodi LabunRyan BellJennifer Connolly

Available now

(647) 424-3408

Meet The Team Spotlight: Kelsey Fisher

Maria Vassiliou
Maria Vassiliou
May 24th 2024 - 9 minute read
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Eirene is composed of remarkable individuals who are dedicated to making a
difference. This series delves into the lives of the people who drive Eirene
forward—the ones who answer phone calls, respond to emails, and offer unwavering
support and compassion to the families we serve. Discover the moments and
influences that have shaped them, and explore how their diverse experiences
contribute to the rich tapestry that is the Eirene team.

Tell us a bit about your career path and how you entered t


Eirene is composed of remarkable individuals who are dedicated to making a difference. This series delves into the lives of the people who drive Eirene forward—the ones who answer phone calls, respond to emails, and offer unwavering support and compassion to the families we serve. Discover the moments and influences that have shaped them, and explore how their diverse experiences contribute to the rich tapestry that is the Eirene team.

Tell us a bit about your career path and how you entered the death space. What inspired or motivated you to pursue a career in this industry?

When I was in grade nine, an aptitude test returned “mortician” as the first result.

Being a 14 year old girl who at the time dreamed of being a news anchor, I didn’t pay much attention. However, for some reason I couldn’t shake the idea. They’re not lying to you when they say it’s a calling!

I ended up working at a big box tech store and when it closed in 2015, I felt like it was finally time to chase my dream. I moved out of my apartment with my at-the-time boyfriend (now husband) and moved two hours away to the heart of Toronto to live with one of my best friends to attend Humber College’s Funeral Service Education program. The rest is history.

Kelsey driving a funeral coach assisting MacKinnon and Bowes.

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

There are so many different aspects that are rewarding, it can be hard to narrow down! I love that I get to interact with people who come from all different races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. Learning about the deceased and being told their story is another very rewarding aspect.

Every single person has lived a life with parents, siblings and friends, they have all had interests and hobbies, favourite sports teams or musical artists. I also really enjoy demystifying funeral services and educating the public on death care. For so long, everything in our profession has been kept secret under the guise of “protecting the public”, but I believe all it’s done is create discourse and distrust and breaking those walls is very rewarding to me.

Can you describe a particularly memorable or meaningful experience you've had while serving families?

I was on call one weekend when a wife called in to us, saying her husband was in the ICU and close to passing away. Her husband had always been the one to deal with the difficult situations and she felt very lost and afraid. I spoke with her at length, not only explaining our services but speaking human to human, telling her how brave she was in reaching out to us and that although it hurt, she was doing the right thing. Any stresses she had, I told her we at Eirene could do our best to take them on so that she could be present for her husband and family.

Unfortunately, we got a call two days later that he had died. I spoke with her again and she had said that my phone call to her gave her the strength to be with her husband as he passed, as she didn’t think she could do it before we spoke. She was so thankful that someone believed in her and told her that yes, it’s going to be hard, but you can do it. We were able to help her cremate her husband and assist her with getting him home to Jamaica to be buried with his mother.

Whenever I am having an overwhelming day, I often think of her and it gives me the strength to continue and it also reminds me that even if I don’t always feel it, I’m making a big difference to people in some of the darkest moments of their lives.

How do you approach supporting grieving families?

My approach is a little less conventional than a lot of other funeral directors I’ve come to know.

I always try to make it more of a conversation than a formal meeting. People don’t want to be sitting across from a funeral director because it means someone they loved has passed away. I let them know their feelings are extremely valid and while things aren’t okay, we can work through this together. It’s a very delicate balance of showing that you’re human, while also keeping things professional.

My true trick of the trade is to get people laughing, which can sound counterproductive, but it really helps break some tension and get everyone to relax. Also, there are no stupid questions and I always tell that to families.

The average person completes two funeral arrangements in their lives, there will be loads of questions and I never mind answering or looking for answers to help my families.

Can you share a piece of advice for individuals who may be considering a career in the death/funeral industry?

The best way to succeed in this job is to set realistic expectations.

There is a lot more to this job than meets the eye. It isn’t just meeting families and running funerals, it’s hours of paperwork, it’s washing cars in a freezing garage, it’s graphic design of memorial cards, it’s waking up at 2am to drive hours out for a house call and be back in the office at 8am.

You will miss holidays, birthdays and other important events due to the nature of the job. It is also quite emotionally taxing, as unfortunately death does not only affect those past a certain age or in a peaceful manner.

Grief is not a comfortable feeling, but you have to learn to be comfortable with it. Being successful in funeral services takes a lot of personal effort and sacrifice. If you’re willing and able, it is one of the most rewarding careers you can have.

Kelsey with her dog Bilbo (named after The Hobbit character) on his birthday, St. Patrick's Day.

What made you choose to work with Eirene?

Working through the pandemic, I saw a massive shift away from the traditional funeral.

Families were wanting to take on more of the aspects surrounding their loved ones and having more control, something a lot of traditional funeral homes don’t wish to give up. I was experiencing burn out, also due to the pandemic, and was considering moving away from the industry entirely.  When I came across Eirene, I was intrigued as they clearly saw the same shift that I had.

In speaking to the employees about their philosophy surrounding death care, including full transparency with families, I was sold. The team I work with amazes me every day around how dedicated they are to the care of others, including other team members. I have never worked in such a supportive and collaborative environment before. I am very proud to say I work at a place that always goes above and beyond for every single family that comes across our services.

Outside of your work in this space, what are some of your hobbies or interests?

Outside of work, I am what many people would classify as a nerd.

I love to decompress by playing video games at the end of a long work day. Mass Effect is my favourite series, and I’m always down for a good co-op game.

My husband and I are in two separate Dungeons and Dragons groups, one of which we’ve been a part of for over eight years! I thoroughly enjoy art and collecting tattoos. Living near Lake Erie means a lot of days off spent on the beach or walking through local provincial parks.

On rainy days, I’m usually watching a horror film, documentary or catching up on reality TV, most often The Amazing Race. I also really enjoy hockey, though being a fan of the Ottawa Senators is hard a lot more than it is fun.

At the Canadian Tire Centre to see a hockey game.

Can you share a favourite book, movie, or TV show that has had a significant impact on you?

I would have to say more recently, it was the TV show Wandavision. It is such a complex, heartbreaking but beautiful show about grief. When you’re around it so much, you need reminders about the impact grief can have and I found its message very powerful.

Do you have any favorite quotes or mottos that you live by?

There is a quote in Christopher Nolan’s film, Batman Begins: “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.” It reminds me that I can say that I am a good person who does good things, but unless I am actually doing those things, what kind of person am I truly?

Kelsey and her husband, Greg, at Hobbiton, a Lord of the Rings location in New Zealand.

Can you share a meaningful life lesson you've learned through your experiences in this industry?

It may seem obvious, but life is short.

It is almost impossible to predict the future. Since I became a funeral director, I’ve done so many things I was previously terrified of. In doing so, I have found an abundance of happiness, fulfillment and freedom. Now I will try anything once! There really is no time like the present to start working on and accomplishing your dreams.

Kelsey and her husband, Greg, at Hobbiton, a Lord of the Rings location in New Zealand.

Kelsey Fisher is one of our Funeral Directors based in Ontario. She knows every family is going through their grief journey and looks forward to bringing them comfort during their challenging time. If you're interested in learning more, or arranging with us, you can contact Kelsey via email at kelsey@eirene.ca.

Here For You — Whenever You Need Us