Elizabeth Gilbert sprang onto the literary scene with her tell-all memoir, “Eat Pray Love.” Cataloguing her messy divorce and subsequent travels, Gilbert has not been shy about her quest for love. And in the latest installment of her multifaceted love life, she and her terminally ill partner had a “love ceremony.”
Elizabeth Gilbert’s partner, Rayya Elias, has incurable pancreatic and liver cancer. Elias, who is also an author, and Gilbert had been friends for 15 years before they began their romantic relationship, about nine months ago.
Earlier this month, in an announcement on her social media platforms, Gilbert wrote this heartfelt message to her followers:
“Dear Ones: Over the last year, Rayya Elias and I have been through some really difficult days together—but not today,” Gilbert wrote. “Today was precious and perfect. A simple and spontaneous ceremony of love, surrounded by a small handful of friends and family. Our ceremony was nothing legally binding (no need to alert the authorities, folks!)…just a quiet and private celebration of what we have long known to be true: We belong to each other.”
In a previous (but equally tear-jerking Facebook post) from last September, Gilbert wrote that a romantic relationship arose with Elias after her diagnosis with terminal cancer. Gilbert also admitted that the end of her marriage to ex-husband José Nunes was affected by her relationship with Elias.
“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,” Gilbert wrote.
But Gilbert closed out her joyous announcement with a dose of reality:
“More difficult days are to come. It doesn’t get easier from here,” she wrote. “Rayya’s illness is grave. But our love is strong. We will walk together as far as we can go together. After that, it all gets turned over to God.”
We wish Gilbert and Elias as many happy days together as are humanly possible.