Thursday, February 18, 2016

Mob Wives: Loving Memorial to Big Ang

This is how I'll remember Ang

Angela Raiola, "Big Ang," passed away during the night surrounded by her loved ones. She was only 55 and taken from this world much too soon. The outpouring of grief in social media was like none I have seen before. Ang was no ordinary television reality star, she touched millions of lives and many of them were devastated to hear she was losing her battle with cancer last night.

It seems like it was just yesterday that Big Ang, and her bigger than life personality, first graced our television screens. She was instantly loved by fans of the show. No one could get enough of her. Even people who never watched Mob Wives, fell in love with her and her unique sense humor. Big Ang was a "peacemaker," she didn't like arguing or conflict. Everything about Ang was BIG, but the biggest part of her,  the part we couldn't see . . . was her heart.

Ang loved her family more than anything and she fought this disease with everything she had. It was a long hard year for her. Now her battle is over and she is at peace. She is a special angel in heaven looking down and protecting her loved ones.

Who else do you know with her own mural?

Last night, as I watch my Twitter timeline fill up with sadness, I began to see fans who loved Ang putting up their own pictures. Pictures they had taken with Ang when they met her. Here are just a few of them:

I went to an event with my daughter, who does not watch Mob Wives. She went to meet Jennifer Graziano, the brains behind the show, but the first person we met that night was Big Ang. My daughter was excited. She and her friends love Big Ang. I asked Ang if she would mind taking a picture with my daughter. Ang put down her fur coat and took my daughter, who only came up to her elbow, over to where there were some steps. She wanted my daughter to stand on a step to make for a better picture. It meant a lot to us.

Ang's family issued a statement immediately following her passing.

In her last days Ang never gave up. I read how she insisted on going to film the Reunion Show just a few days ago because she wanted to finish what she started. I heard she looked great, but was only able to stay for five or six hours because she got too tired. I'll be thinking of that when I watch those shows. 

Ang's heart was so big she even agreed to go on Dr. Oz to try and help people with her story. She told the viewers: : "If you smoke, quit; if you haven't started, don't." Dr. Oz said her words would make more of an impact than anything he could have said. If you missed Ang's appearance on the show you can watch it here: Big Ang fighting for her life. Have tissues handy.

And Karen Gravano, who watched the show, could not hold back her own grief and posted this message:

Ang was greatly loved by all who knew her. That reminds me of an expression that I didn't quite get until this moment: The more love you give away, the more love comes back to you. And for Ang there was nothing she loved more than her family, they were everything to her.

Rest in Eternal Peace Ang

Angela Raiola 
February 18, 2016

And now a few words from our blogger, Carmela, who covered The Big Ang Show:

Tremendous. Fabulous;  Genuine…words that are used to described world event or perhaps a personality that came to life in most of our homes. Big Ang was more than just a reality star.

A mother and a loyal friend she lived each moment to the fullest. In all the times I’ve met Ang she was sweet and very personable. I am thankful I got the chance to meet her.  She will be missed by many especially her family. She leaves behind her grandchildren that will live off the memories.

My deepest condolences to everyone that was part of her life.
Thanks for the memories. ~ Carmela


Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful tribute.
Big Ang was larger than life, her love for life was infectious. We all could take a few lessons from Ang on how to enjoy life more. Thank you, Big Ang. Rest well. Perhaps the heavens will shine brighter, have gained a beautiful new star.

Sandra steenson said...

Lovely tribute. RIP BIG ANG prayers for your family & friends you was such a strong beautiful loving lady thinking of your family at this sad sad time.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful memorial you put together. I hope the ladies(MW) all remember going froward, just how much Ang hated them fighting and arguing. Let this be the best tribute to her, and show each other respect. For some reason she really has me in my feelings and I haven't stopped tearing up since late last night. RIP Ang and prayers of strength to your family and Neil

ChrisGonzWA said...

So sorry to hear you've gone Big Ang! Thank you for all the hours of entertainment I've enjoyed over the years. May Love and Peace surround your loved ones.

RIP Angela, you really were as big as they get. Mad LOVE!!!

Southern Plaid said...

Speeches.. Can't believe that she is gone. Never had the pleasure of meeting her, but I felt I knew her thru watching her on T.V... My heart is truly broken. RIP. Big Ang.

Unknown said...

This is a real shock, I just watched the episode when she got the bad news,this morning I hear she has passed ,I'm seriously blown condolences to the family

Margaret Winningham said...

I am heartbroken by this news I guess it's true Only the good die young . That was a great tribute Chiara and Carmela . My thoughts are with her family .

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. Thank you. In lieu of prayers, throw away the cigarettes. That's will be her lasting legacy.

Dona Swenk said...

So sorry to hear the devasting news!! I really loved her outstanding personality, bluntness and positive attitude with everything. Big fan from The Woodlands, Texas

Anonymous said...

I never knew her, but somehow today just feels heavy...not the same, like something is missing. It is so heartbreaking to think that she's gone. She will truly be missed. Thank you Ang for bringing light, laughter and love to won't be forgotten

Hey you said...

It's a hard to accept that Big Ang has passed. I am devastated however her suffering is over. Big Ang was full of life, honest, loving, and strong. She willgreatly be missed. My condolences to her family. <3 Big Ang.

Leah said...

Woke up to this in Australia. Heartbroken.... So sad and devasted.....thank you for the memorial. I really thought she would be ok.
How did this happen so quickly was it because it was stage 4 the fastest growing cancer? I thought she caught it early?
Was chemo not going to work? Sorry for my ignorance I guess I'm just in shock......

Chiara Soprano said...

Thank you everyone for your comments and expressions of love for Ang.

Leah, the reports lead us to think Ang was cancer free after the first operation. They checked the lymph nodes and I believe they found disease present so they removed them on both sides of her neck. Evidently the cancer spread to the lungs and brain and was not responsive to chemo therapy. The tumors continued to grow. Nothing more could be done medically and the disease progressed rapidly. She even filmed for the Reunion just 2 or 3 weeks ago and the Dr. Oz show. No one expected things to go this fast. Almost everyone is in shock.

Anonymous said...

God bless you Angela. Heaven has a new angel. She is a good soul. My prayers to her family and friends.

Anonymous said...

According to the Daily News "baby rat" Karen Gravano was barred from the funeral home.

Anonymous said...

So disrespectful . She is not and never was a rat Anon above. All the of loonies are out and about now since Angela has passed. We have some being nasty about the other cast, some on other sites claiming they were friends all of the sudden with Angela and have the skinny on the all the services but say nothing different then false reports and those who dislike all cast mates but Drita. This is getting too much. Someone has died . How can others be so selfish and and bitter to not allow everyone else to reminisce or pay their own respects in peace? Forgive me if I think your article with link you provided is probably biased and false and takes away from Miss Raiola and why others are posting.

Anonymous said...

Ange,u were 1 of a kind, ur style ur Grace, wow what a woman,I would hav loved to met u personally,but I'll keep u in my prayers, Goodnight u original OG, love to ur family, blessed to have had youxxxxxxxxxxxx