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'Eat, Pray, Love' author Elizabeth Gilbert mourns death of partner Rayya Elias

The best-selling author wrote a touching tribute to partner Rayya Elias, who died at 57 on Thursday after a long battle with pancreatic and liver cancer.
/ Source: TODAY

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the best-selling memoir "Eat, Pray, Love," is mourning the death of partner Rayya Elias at 57 from cancer.

Gilbert, 48, announced the sad news on Instagram and Twitter Thursday with a touching tribute to Elias.

"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, Rayya,'' she wrote.

Elias was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer in 2016, the same year the two announced they were in love.

Gilbert said in June that the couple had a commitment ceremony after being through "some difficult days together."

“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,” she wrote on Instagram.

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 and author and her longtime best friend.

"Thank you for letting me walk with you right to the edge of the river,'' Gilbert wrote on Thursday.

"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."

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.