It squeezed my heart to hear Elizabeth Gilbert’s recent news. In case you missed it, the Eat, Pray, Love author Liz Gilbert announced recently on her Facebook page that after learning of her best friend of 15 years, Rayya Elias’s, liver and pancreatic cancer, she realized she was the love of her life and there was nowhere she would rather be than at her side. Here’s how she put it..
“Death — or the prospect of death — has a way of clearing away everything that is not real, and in that space of stark and utter realness, I was faced with this truth: I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya. And I have no more time for denying that truth.
“The thought of someday sitting in a hospital room with her, holding her hand and watching her slide away, without ever having let her (or myself!) know the extent of my true feelings for her … well, that thought was unthinkable … I’m walking through this cancer journey with her, not only as her friend, but as her partner.”
I’ve come to think that illness arrives in our lives as a way to light up the core of our souls. We get to discover what we should have known all along, especially when it comes to love. Laura and I might have taken 10 years or longer to move in together, if it hadn’t been for her illness. In fact we might never have gotten round to it, worrying over whose apartment to pick, or if we needed more room, even if we could trust each other with our finances. But the first glimmer of news that she was seriously ill and I knew instantly in my heart that we would move in together, we would pool everything and be together come what may.
I hope that Liz and Rayya are blessed with enough time to truly enjoy their love for each other. The alchemy of being with a soulmate who is sick is that your love becomes finer and stronger and reaches for that extraordinary pinnacle of unconditional love. Also you are forced to live in the present in a way that nothing else can achieve. The future and past become irrelevant, there is nothing that matters, except the now. I am praying for a happy ending, knitting my best blanket of love and wishing them God speed.