In mourning the loss of their dear friend Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, her Mob Wives castmates used her wake as an opportunity to celebrate their larger-than-life “sister.”
“It was Big Ang all the way,” Renee Graziano shared with E! News. “It was huge.”
For the 55-year-old star, who tragically passed away from stage 4 lung and brain cancer in February, an exciting funeral was a reflection of the outspoken personality that helped shoot her to national fame.
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“They had her favorite music playing,” her co-star added. “The flowers were larger than life.”
If Ang could have had everything her way, she would have hosted the wake at Pastels, a famed 1980s Brooklyn nightclub.
“It was a club that we used to go to years ago,” co-star Carla Facciolo revealed. “She wanted it there. She wanted a disco party. She wanted to be changed every night in different outfits.”
While their memories of Big Ang’s wake are filled with fondness, the emptiness of life without their longtime friend is painfully palpable.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Graziano declared. “We know her forever, so we lost a sister…it was more than friendship. It was a sisterhood.”
That sisterhood now plays out on television for thousands of fans, but the show’s final season airing now is a hard pill for the women to swallow.
“Right now everything’s a reminder of her because everything about her is blasted all over the place,” Facciolo said. “Even with the show—it’s still on and we’re watching her film with us, so it’s hard to watch that.”
A pivotal moment of the final season is when Raiola tells her friends she’s cancer-free. The timing of the revelation couldn’t be more surreal.
“We were so excited,” Karen Gravano told E! News. “Honestly I didn’t think that we’d be sitting her and she wouldn’t be with us.”
“It was like a breath of fresh air, her telling us that she was cancer-free,” Facciolo added. “It was like the best news we heard and we’re watching this [now] and she’s not even here.”