Elizabeth Gilbert is sharing her story of newfound love after mourning the death of her partner from cancer last year.
The author of the best-selling memoir "Eat, Pray, Love" is hoping that by speaking about her joy over her new relationship, she might be able to help others going through a similar situation.
"It’s a beautiful spring day in my corner of the world, life is everywhere bursting forth with a sense of rebirth and renewal, and this seems like as good a moment as any to tell you that I am in love,'' Gilbert wrote on Instagram Monday.
Gilbert, 49, posted a smiling photo with new boyfriend Simon MacArthur, a photographer from the U.K. who had been a close friend of hers for years before it blossomed into love.
"Of late, Simon and I have found our way to each other’s arms,'' Gilbert wrote. "And now here we are, and his heart has been such a warm place for me to land."
She also noted that MacArthur was a longtime friend of Rayya Elias, Gilbert's former partner, who died at 57 last year from pancreatic and liver cancer.
Gilbert announced in 2016 that she had separated from her husband of 10 years, Jose Nunes, the Brazilian importer she wrote about in her 2006 memoir. Two months later, she revealed that she was in love with Elias, a musician, an author and her longtime best friend.
She decided to share the news about MacArthur publicly in the hope of helping others who may have lost a spouse or partner and started a new relationship.
"I will always share anything personal about my life, if it could help someone else feel more normal about their life,'' she wrote. "SO...if you have lost a loved one to death, and you thought you’d never love again, but you are feeling a pull of attraction toward someone new, and you’re not sure if that’s OK? Let me normalize it for you. Let me say: It’s Ok.
"Your heart is a giant cathedral. Let it open. Let it love. Do not let your gorgeous loyalty to the deceased stop you from experiencing the marvels and terrors of your short, mortal, precious life. It’s OK to live, and to love."
Gilbert also had a message about following your heart after having been in a relationship with a woman, Elias, before dating MacArthur.
"Or...if you are falling in love in middle age and it’s terrifying, because you feel just as dumb and crazy and excited and insecure as you did at 16? Well, let me normalize this for you. It’s OK. You will always feel 16 when you are falling in love.
"Or...if you once loved a man,and then you loved a woman, and then you loved a man, and you’re wondering if that’s ok? Well, darling. Let me normalize THAT for you. It’s OK. Love who you love. It’s all OK, and it’s all impossible to control, and it’s all an adventure that I would not miss."