MERI Center Blog


As I ponder Thanksgiving this year, I am torn between the myth of Thanksgiving and the real history of Thanksgiving in the United States.  To choose to reappropriate Thanksgiving as a time of gratitude and reflection without acknowledging the violence and pain this day represents for Native Americans would be sweeping their history under the rug, ignoring it because it makes us feel uncomfortable.  And in this year, a year that has brought so many challenges, it seems particularly important to call out the pain and suffering the colonists inflicted upon the Native Americans throughout history. To learn more has a great list of Thanksgiving myths.

I am grateful, though, for this opportunity to reflect on this past year and to remember there are things I am thankful for.

  1. Anti-Racism and diversity are once again at the forefront of our minds

As a child of Asian American activists, discussions on racism were normal in our house and while I am disappointed that we have not more strides yest, I am heartened to see widespread discussions and efforts to fight racism and inequity. I am particularly grateful to co-chair our division’s Anti-racism task force.

  1. Being home with my children has deepened our relationship and not having to rush from one meeting to another has helped me feel less overwhelmed, less rushed, leaving with me more patience.  With less extracurricular activities, my kids have more time to work on the homework and spend time with family.  My daughter and I watch Korean dramas most nights, 1 episode a night, which has been a fun way to bond and talk about various topics.  And recently, my mom, who lives next door and is part of our pandemic pod, has joined us.
  2. Making connections.  Now that everything is online, our workshops have participants from around the world and we have formed an amazing community.  In addition, we have been able to collaborate with our neighbors at Stanford to present a virtual panel, “Everything You Want to Know About Palliative Care.” So as our physical world has been more isolated, we still have been able to make strong connections.

See the fruits of our collaborations:

Everything You Want to Know about Palliative Care, November 19th with Stanford Palliative Medicine


Food for Thought: A Poetic Medicine Event, November 20th with ReImagine

  1. Being a part of the UCSF MERI team and Palliative Medicine.  I started with the MERI Center on December 2, 2019, so it’s almost been a year since I transitioned from the outpatient clinic world into the academic world.  While I miss my colleagues from the Symptom Management Service, I am incredibly blessed to be able to get to know my Division of Palliative Medicine colleagues better through our daily zoom huddles and of course, the MERI team.  It is honor to work with such fabulous people.
  2. For our MERI Community.  You all are what makes the MERI Center special and for whom we create our workshops and activities.  Thank you for joining us.

May you all have a safe and joyful holidays!