Eat Pray Love author opens up on her heartbreak following her partner’s death
Elizabeth Gilbert has spoken for the first time since the death of Rayya Elias three months ago.
Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert has spoken for the first time since the death of her partner three months ago.
Gilbert opened up on the heartbreak of losing the “love of her life” and fellow author Rayya Elias in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
Gilbert, 48, enjoyed incredible success with her memoir Eat Pray Love, which documented her journey across the world following the breakdown of her marriage.
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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. I loved you so much, Rayya. Thank you for letting me walk with you right to the edge of the river. It has been the greatest honor of my life. 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.
The book – which has sold 12 million copies worldwide and was made into a Hollywood film starring Julia Roberts as Gilbert – even documented her meeting future husband Jose Nunes in Indonesia.
But they split two years ago after Gilbert fell in love with Elias, her female best friend who died from cancer in January, aged 57.
Now, Gilbert has spoken of her heartbreak for the first time.
She told the newspaper: “The grief hits you at weird times, and there are weird triggers for it.
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Dear Ones: Over the last year, Rayya Elias and I have been through some really difficult days together — but not today. 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. More difficult days are to come. It doesn't get easier from here. Her 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. Create beauty with every day you are given, Onward, LG (And thank you, @bindleandkeep, for putting a rush on @rayyaelias's suit, and for hand-delivering it yesterday. She looked beautiful. Thank you for the grace, the care, and the compassion. You are good people.)
“And it doesn’t matter how expected it was, or even how welcome it was by the end, because of the pain (Elias went through), there’s still the great existential crisis. Where did she go? How is she not here? My favourite person has gone: now what?
“People have been so kind and generous to me, but when you’ve lost somebody of that significance, the question is: who are you going to be now? And it’s too soon for me to tell.”
Gilbert was already a relatively successful writer when she released her 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love.
The book chronicled her journey to Italy (Eat), India (Pray) and Indonesia (Love), where she met her future husband.
Two years ago, her marriage broke down and she began a relationship with Elias, who she first met around 2000.
Elias had been diagnosed with incurable pancreatic and liver cancer and the couple held a commitment ceremony last June in front of close friends and family.