A victim confronted

I’m sure for many people the concept of a day in a mortuary would be a highly confronting situation, for me however this is my safe place, my place of quiet solitude where I adopt the peace of those I care for allowing me to be most at one with my thoughts.

My days here have seen me take care of people of different nationalities, varying ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions etc. I have been faced with circumstances of both a victim and perpetrator in the mortuary at the same time and still all I see is the purity of their soul, much like that of a birth.

When a baby is born we have a unified hope, that this person will be a good person, will go on to do good things and make beautiful changes to the world. Regardless of the lives that have been lived, when a person is entrusted to me for their care I see only that purity, I know little of their lives and I have that unified hope that they have been loved, they have done good things and they have made the world a more beautiful place. There is something very cleansing about death that re-affirms to me that we are all one.

Many years ago, when working as a mortician in a large commercial funeral home, transfers of the deceased would come in daily by staff and government contractors, the environment was fast paced and busy which found us often working to limited timeframes and meeting expectations of families, management and colleagues.

This particular day I was having a morning in the mortuary like many before, I busied myself cleaning and sorting instruments getting ready for a busy day taking care of those entrusted to me. I opened the cool room and brought someone through into the mortuary for their preparation. A blue bag before me, I move forward and open the zipper, what came next was a complete shock and brought me to my knees.

This was someone I knew, a person who had completely broken me as a small child, crushing my spirit, shattering my physical body and changing the person I would have been, my legs went weak and I felt instantly overcome, panic set in and even though I knew I was not in any danger I still felt so overpowered, just as I had as a little girl.

Stepping out of the mortuary I sought comfort in my workmates, who were oblivious to the situation I was facing. Anyone that has dealt with childhood trauma and the viciousness of flash backs and post-traumatic stress knows the utter feeling of helplessness and debilitation it causes.

This particular experience was a trigger that caused intense emotional and physical reactions in my body. In a practical sense, as a mortician it was my responsibility and role to take care of people when they came in, in this case I stepped aside.

My trauma as a child was long lived and felt as though I was trapped in a cage of fear, pain, and anger with no end in sight.

I felt that either no one could see the huge changes in me or even worse, no one cared.

I believe in fate, I believe that everything has a purpose and everything happens for a reason, but for a very long time my childhood made me into a very hateful person, a person that was left asking questions and a person that resented the world.

In order to continue to live, and to go on in any meaningful way I attended many years of therapy. It didn’t help, I felt my situation couldn’t be ‘cured’ by someone else, my burdens were internal, and this was something I needed to face myself.

It was coming to this conclusion and making a decision that came from within that saw me do the one thing that set me free, forgive.

I forgave him for hurting me, coming to an understanding that his actions came from a place he couldn’t control, what had he gone through to get to the point of taking it out on someone so small, so innocent and so pure. I forgave those around me for not noticing the signs and most of all I forgave myself, I had no control over what had happened to me as a child, I knew no better and I finally accepted that my past was exactly that, I had left it behind and these experiences, as awful as they were had made me into the person I am today.

In being faced with my demons, laid bare in front of me, I was in a state of shock and despair, In any other circumstance I would feel for the families of the person, but in this instance I was in mourning for myself, never having the chance to confront him and ask the questions of ‘why’ or tell him to his face that I forgive him for his actions towards me.

I have heard of many stories of hate and anger shown towards perpetrators of violence, this is not who I am nor who I ever want to be. I felt for this man, I felt for his family and I felt for myself.

I am proud to say I am free of the hate that for years plagued me and ate away at the person I used to be, but ultimately his actions made me the person I am today, and for that I am very thankful.

I still hear the words he used to say to me ‘you are a seed on the road, you will never grow’. These words have inspired me to reach high, to aim for perfection and to never stop believing in myself.

As a child these words haunted me, instead these words have allowed me the opportunity of realising my dreams. I could have never known just how much they would see me rise. I am strong, I am resilient, I am proud, and I am Kristy Meizer the mother, the daughter, the partner, the friend, and the funeral director.

‘The Mortuary Matriarch – Kristy Meizer’

Photo - Hayley Robertson

Hayley Robertson

Funeral & Mortuary Assistant

Helena Killington

Funeral Assistant

My background in aged care nursing has given me a chance to see firsthand the lives of the elderly in our community. I am especially passionate about helping grieving families give their loved ones a final goodbye that is dignified and respectful.

Since joining the team at Lovell Meizer Funerals we have been trained in specialist care of families and their dearly departed loved ones. We strive to always provide emotional support with a professional edge on our services whilst also being caring and helpful.

Whilst we work in a small team, we are close and support each other professionally and personally. We are careful to respect each individual family and give them the chance to grieve on their own terms. I feel that my role as a Funeral Assistant is an honour and I look forward to growing my skills and helping families on a personal level for many years to come.

I love being a part of the Goulburn community and live here with my daughter, our 2 cats Percy and PJ, our rescue dog Daisy and our chickens. I have many close friendships that I cherish dearly, I enjoy catching up for coffee, getaways, games nights and movies with friends.

Melissa Chandler

Funeral & Mortuary Assistant

While I have always had an interest in death and different customs across the world the reality of my own mortality and that of those around me is what really struck home for me and gave me that push to enter an industry that always intrigued me.

Knowing I cannot fix the loss that someone is going through I take comfort that I may be able to help them in some small way, be it by offering support and comfort or providing loving care in preparation for their loved one on their final journey.

In my spare time I like spending time with my husband and children at our home here in Goulburn. Together we enjoy movies, make up, special effects and true crime stories.

Susan Ebsworth

Funeral Assistant

I have always had a special place in my heart for the elderly. This sentiment was strengthened when it came to caring for my own elderly parents in later life. My own experience and loss have really shaped me and given me an overwhelming sense of direction for helping others move through their journey of love and loss.

I take great pride in assisting families at Lovell Meizer Funerals and consider my position such a privilege. I feel honoured to walk alongside families through their time of loss with a goal to treat every family with the dignity and care that I would want for my own family.  It is my sincere hope that I can make a difference to the lives of others.

When not at work I enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren who keep me young at heart. I also love spending time in my garden and working on my campervan project. I am creative and like to design and create macramé, crochet babies and children’s garments and toys and dabble in house renovations.

Shiane Lovell

Managing Director

I have 12 years’ experience in finance and event management and as such am extremely organised with an attention to detail.

I have worked with many families over the years to ensure the best production and delivery of video and memorial stationary, our ‘Lasting Tributes’. I am caring, compassionate and will ensure the most outstanding service is provided to each family.

My family values have been strong since I was a child. I have had the benefit of growing up with very close relationships to my grandparents, together with my mum they taught me the importance of family and made me extremely grateful for today having such a beautiful family of my own.

Unlike my partner, I didn’t realise my passion and purpose until much later in life and it wasn’t until we purchased this business and opened our doors to grieving families that I realised this is exactly where I was always supposed to be. I am immensely proud of our ability to help families when they are going through such a hard time.

The loss of some of the closest people in my life has really given me a deep understanding for those going through the same and I find my empathy for others is what drives me to do the best I can for every family.

Together with my partner / wife we have built a family with our three children and enjoy watching them realise their potential over the years.

I have many friendships and value social time with others. At the same time, I am happy just hanging out at home with our dogs or playing games on the computer / Xbox. I consider myself to be somewhat of a tv / movie buff and could happily hibernate watching series after series until I fall asleep with my dogs on my lap.

Kristy Meizer JP

Managing Director & Family Consultant

I am a strong and independent woman, who has, like many others faced adversity along the way. I have had my share of trials and tribulations but at the end of the day have rose above it all to become successful in a field that I love.

I began my career in the funeral industry in 2001 in Canberra and over the years have worked at several funeral homes. I have spent many years working behind the scenes in a mortuary setting.

Over the years I have developed specialised skills and a have a true passion for restorative work, allowing families the opportunity to gain closure from seeing & spending time with their loved ones when this might have otherwise been discouraged.

During my career I have also worked for the ACT Government at their Forensic Medical Centre. I believe my extensive knowledge, skills and personal love for what I do have moulded me into someone you can trust and rely on in times of unforgiving grief.

As an individual my personal life is filled with family. I have strong family values and have close relationships with my beautiful family. I have three beautiful children. Our 19-year-old son has just purchased his first home in Queanbeyan and our two little girls, 3 & 5 years old are both skilled bike and scooter riders. All three give me the greatest sense of pride. Watching them all grow and develop their own achievements is my life’s goal and biggest joy.

As for personal hobbies, I enjoy exploring with my kids, going to the beach, and trying my hand at camping, I am the first to admit this is an ongoing trial and i am more of a self proclaimed ‘glamper’. I love shopping, some may call me a shopaholic, I see it more as a relaxing pastime.  

​I am a registered Justice of the Peace in and for the State of New South Wales Australia.