‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Author Elizabeth Gilbert’s Partner Dead at 57

Rayya Elias died from cancer
elizabeth gilbert rayya elias

Left: Flickr/Erik Charlton/CC BY 4.0; Right: Flickr/Nuri/CC BY 4.0

Foodie favorite Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert’s partner Rayya Elias has died after a yearslong battle with pancreatic and liver cancer. The writer and filmmaker was diagnosed in 2016 — which led Gilbert to split from her husband, José Nunes (portrayed by Javier Bardem in the 2010 on-screen adaptation of the memoir) to be 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," Gilbert wrote in a 2016 Facebook post. "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."

On January 4, alongside an Instagram photo of Elias, Gilbert wrote: “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.”

Four days prior, Gilbert had shared a photo of her nuzzled up to Elias captioned: “Happy New Year, everyone. You made it. We made it. Blessed be.”

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