“She was my love, my heart, my best friend, my teacher”

The author of Eat, Pray Love has paid a moving tribute to her partner, Rayya Elias after she died of pancreatic cancer.

Taking to Instagram she wrote, “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”.

The couple had been partners since the spring of 2016, following from Gilbert leaving her husband.

The women had been best friends for over a decade, but it was Rayya’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer that made the author realise that she was romantically attracted to her friend in the spring of 2016.

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Rayya Elias born in Aleppo, Syria was also an author. She wrote, Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair and Post-Punk from the Middle East to the Lower East Side.