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September 07, 2016 at 09:24 PM EDT

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert has shared that she is in love with her best friend Rayya Elias in a touching Facebook post on Wednesday.

She also divulges that Elias has been diagnosed with uncureable pancreatic and liver cancer. In the post, she describes realizing her love for Elias after her cancer diagnosis. “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,” she writes. “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. Here is the thing about truth: Once you see it, you cannot un-see it. So that truth, once it came to my heart’s attention, could not be ignored.”

Gilbert and Elias are in love and are dating, she writes. She decided to make the relationship public because “I need to be able to walk into any room in the world with Rayya on my arm, feeling relaxed enough to stand comfortably in simple openness about who we actually are to each other.” She continues: “Sure, I could pretend that Rayya is still just my best friend, but that would be…you know… pretending. Pretending is demeaning, and it makes you weak and confused, and it’s also a lot of work. I don’t do that kind of work anymore.”

Gilbert also addresses how her love for Elias affected her marriage to her second husband José Nunes, from whom she separated in July: “For those of you who are doing the math here, and who are wondering if this situation is why my marriage came to an end this spring, the simple answer is yes.”

Elias is a fellow writer and author of the book Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair, and Post-Punk From the Middle East to the Lower East Side. See the full post below:

https://www.facebook.com/

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