Eat, Pray, Love Author Elizabeth Gilbert Posts Epically Powerful Essay About Grief On The 6-Month Anniversary Of Partner's Cancer-Stricken Death

You can feel every emotion Elizabeth Gilbert goes through...

As we reported in January 2018, the Eat, Pray, Love author's partner Rayya Elias passed away at the age of 57 from cancer.

On Wednesday, on the 6-month anniversary of Rayya's passing, the writer took to Instagram to share her thoughts on how one "handles" grief.

Related: Val Kilmer Opens Up About Battling Throat Cancer

After posting a picture from their commitment ceremony exactly one year ago, the 48-year-old wrote:

"People keep asking me how I'm doing, and I'm not always sure how to answer that. It depends on the day. It depends on the minute. Right this moment, I'm OK. Yesterday, not so good. Tomorrow, we'll see."

From her experience with heartache, Gilbert has learned that the only way one can deal with grief is to "[bow] down before its power, in complete humility."

"When Grief comes to visit me, it's like being visited by a tsunami. I am given just enough warning to say, 'Oh my god, this is happening RIGHT NOW,' and then I drop to the floor on my knees and let it rock me. How do you survive the tsunami of Grief? By being willing to experience it, without resistance."'

Although she doesn't know where Rayya is now, one thing is for sure:

"I only know that I will love her forever. And that I am willing... Onward."

Read Elizabeth's full post (below):

Dear Ones: This picture of me and Rayya was taken one year ago today, on the morning of our commitment ceremony — a day on which we bound our hearts to each other forever, in front of a small circle of friends. What does "forever" mean, when one of the lovers has terminal cancer? That’s simple: It means FOREVER. Six months ago this week, Rayya died. People keep asking me how I’m doing, and I’m not always sure how to answer that. It depends on the day. It depends on the minute. Right this moment, I’m OK. Yesterday, not so good. Tomorrow, we’ll see. Here is what I have learned about Grief, though. I have learned that Grief is a force of energy that cannot be controlled or predicted. It comes and goes on its own schedule. Grief does not obey your plans, or your wishes. Grief will do whatever it wants to you, whenever it wants to. In that regard, Grief has a lot in common with Love. The only way that I can "handle" Grief, then, is the same way that I "handle" Love — by not "handling" it. By bowing down before its power, in complete humility. When Grief comes to visit me, it’s like being visited by a tsunami. I am given just enough warning to say, "Oh my god, this is happening RIGHT NOW," and then I drop to the floor on my knees and let it rock me. How do you survive the tsunami of Grief? By being willing to experience it, without resistance. The conversation of Grief, then, is one of prayer-and-response. Grief says to me: "You will never love anyone the way you loved Rayya." And I reply: "I am willing for that to be true." Grief says: "She’s gone, and she’s never coming back." I reply: "I am willing for that to be true." Grief says: "You will never hear that laugh again." I say: "I am willing." Grief says, "You will never smell her skin again." I get down on the floor on my fucking knees, and — and through my sheets of tears — I say, "I AM WILLING." This is the job of the living — to be willing to bow down before EVERYTHING that is bigger than you. And nearly everything in this world is bigger than you. I don’t know where Rayya is now. It’s not mine to know. I only know that I will love her forever. And that I am willing. Onward.❤️A post shared by Elizabeth Gilbert (@elizabeth_gilbert_writer) on Jun 6, 2018 at 7:27am PDT

[Image via Rayya Elias/Instagram.]


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