Elizabeth Gilbert became an international sensation when she released her 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love—which chronicled her soul-searching travels across the world after her divorce from her husband and spurred a hit movie starring Julia Roberts—and now, she's ready to wear her heart on her sleeve once again.
In a new Instagram post, Gilbert revealed that she participated in a ceremony with her terminally ill girlfriend Rayya Elias, who's battling incurable pancreatic and liver cancer. The two authors announced they were dating about nine months ago and had been friends for about 15 years before things took a turn for the romantic.
"Dear Ones: Over the last year, Rayya Elias and I have been through some really difficult days together—but not today," Gilbert wrote on social media. "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."
See More: George and Amal Clooney Welcome Twins
Gilbert has declined to share how terminal Elias' illness is, instead choosing to focus on the joy of having the Syrian writer in her life. "I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya. And I have no more time for denying that truth," she wrote in a Facebook post that announced their relationship—her first with a woman—last year. “I’m walking through this cancer journey with her, not only as her friend, but as her partner. I am exactly where I need to be—the only place I can be.”