Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert has opened up about her relationship with long-term partner Rayya Elias.
“I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya.”
Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her hugely popular book Eat Pray Love, which was also made into a film starring Julia Roberts.
Elizabeth split from her husband Jose Nunes, who many will know from the book as Felipe, earlier this year.
In an emotional Facebook post on Wednesday, Elizabeth explained that she has found love again, with her long time best friend.
Rayya Elias who is also an author, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, “a disease for which there is no cure”.
“In the moment I first learned of Rayya’s diagnosis, a trap door opened at the bottom of my heart (a trap door I didn’t even know was there) and my entire existence fell straight through that door. From that moment forward, everything became about HER. I cancelled everything in my life that could be cancelled, and I went straight to her side, where I have been ever since.” Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth explained that it was this tragic diagnosis that helped her to realise her true feelings.
“Death — or the prospect of death — has a way of clearing away everything that is not real, and in that space of stark and utter realness, I was faced with this truth: I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya. And I have no more time for denying that truth. The thought of someday sitting in a hospital room with her, holding her hand and watching her slide away, without ever having let her (or myself!) know the extent of my true feelings for her…well, that thought was unthinkable.”
The author added that all of this emerged last spring, the same time she split from her husband. In her post she shed light on this.
“For those of you who are doing the math here, and who are wondering if this situation is why my marriage came to an end this spring, the simple answer is yes.”
She also added why she finally decided to go public with their relationship.
“Whenever Rayya is healthy enough to be by my side, she will be by my side. (Trust me: We will not be wasting a moment of our time together, for as much time as we are given.)
For reasons of my own integrity and sanity, I need to be able to walk into any room in the world with Rayya on my arm, feeling relaxed enough to stand comfortably in simple openness about who we actually are to each other.”
The post has received thousands of supportive comments and over 15 thousand likes.
Thank you for the love, everyone. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rkCZVyIDwg
— Elizabeth Gilbert (@GilbertLiz) September 7, 2016