Elizabeth Gilbert is mourning a painful loss in the New Year. The Eat Pray Love author took to social media to announce that her longtime love, Rayya Elias, died this week. She was 57.
In a lengthy, heartfelt post, Gilbert praised her partner, whom she previously credited as being the reason for the end of her marriage in 2016.
“She was my love, my heart, my best friend, my teacher, my rebel, my angel, my protector, my challenger, my partner, my muse, my wizard, my surprise, my gift, my comet, my liberator, my rock star, my completely impossible non-cooperator, my otherworldly visitor, my spiritual portal, and my baby,” Gilbert, 48, wrote. “I loved you so much, Rayya.”
Calling their time together “the greatest honor of my life,” Gilbert concluded, “I would tell you to rest in peace, but I know that you always found peace boring. May you rest in excitement. I will always love you.”
Gilbert first announced her relationship with Elias in September 2016 after Elias was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, an incurable disease. The news came months after her split from her husband, Jose Nunes, whom she famously wrote about in her bestselling book, Eat Pray Love, which went on to become a moving starring Julia Roberts.
“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 wrote of her relationship with Elias at the time.
Gilbert and Elias celebrated the New Year together earlier this week with a sweet photo, which Gilbert captioned: “Happy New Year, everyone. You made it. We made it. Blessed be. #2018.”
In June, the couple shared a “ceremony of love,” which Gilbert explained wasn’t legally binding, but “just a private celebration of what we have long known to be true: We belong to each other.”
For more on the couple’s romance, watch the clip below.
'Eat, Pray, Love' Author Elizabeth Gilbert Reveals She's In Love With a Woman
Elizabeth Gilbert Has 'Ceremony of Love' With Rayya Elias: 'We Belong to Each Other'
'Eat, Pray, Love' Author Elizabeth Gilbert Separates From Husband Jose Nunes