Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the international phenomenon Eat Pray love -- confirmed on Thursday that her partner Rayya Elias had died at 57.
Gilbert left her husband Jose Nunes -- seemingly for Elias -- in summer 2016, the same summer that Elias was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer. The two had been best friends, but Elias' diagnosis helped Gilbert to realize that she felt more than friendship for Elias.
"In the moment I first learned of Rayya's diagnosis, a trap door opened at the bottom of my heart (a trap door I didn't even know was there) and my entire existence fell straight through that door," Gilbert explained in a Facebook post announcing their relationship. "From that moment forward, everything became about HER. I cancelled everything in my life that could be cancelled, and I went straight to her side, where I have been ever since."
Gilbert confirmed that Elias had died in an Instagram post.
While the two were never married, they did have a commitment ceremony last year.