by Bruna Nessif | Thu., Feb. 18, 2016 5:06 PM
Angela "Big Ang" Raiola maintained her charm and endearing personality that we grew to love up until her very last breath.
Mob Wives co-stars Karen Gravano and Carla Facciolo sat down with an E! News for an exclusive interview following the tragic death of the reality star, who passed away early this morning after a battle with cancer, and while recalling Ang's last moments, the pair couldn't help but smile.
"Even yesterday, when we were at the hospital, she was basically taking her last breath, she was beautiful. Her eyelashes. And she had lip gloss on. Her head was shaved, but it fit her," Gravano tells us (and yes, Big Ang had her lashes on until the very end).
Facciolo adds, "When we first walked in the room, we didn't know her head was gonna be shaved. So when we first seen her, we were like, ‘Ang, your eyelashes are so long,' she was like, ‘I know, right?' She was just happy about that."
"She was gonna go out with grace," Gravano explains, "and she did."
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Although the news of losing Big Ang is absolutely devastating to not only her friends and family, but the numerous fans who have admired her after becoming addicted to her lovable personality on the VH1 series, the two reality stars tell E! News that the late star wouldn't want us to mourn her death.
"She wants us to celebrate her life," Gravano began. "Coming here last night after leaving the hospital, I was sad, but when I woke up this morning and seen how many people…I was like how many people did she actually take pictures with? There were so many people. And such an outpouring of love."
Facciolo adds, "There's millions of pictures of people with Ang. And I've known because we've been out with her before and that woman took 100 pictures a night. Before they even came to us."
Karen tells E! News, "She was so happy, and I think in her death, she doesn't want us to mourn. She wants us to celebrate her."
Although Big Ang had spoken about some troubles with her estranged husband Neil Murphy following her cancer diagnosis, Gravano and Facciolo share that he was present the entire time, and did his best to remain strong for the star.
"Neil was there, he was there with his family. He was like any man would be losing a wife. He was upset, and he was strong, and he was just holding on," Karen tells E! News, to which Carla adds, "He's always been by her side throughout this whole ordeal, since she found out she had cancer. I feel like Neil has always been strong for her and always been there for her."
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images
"It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01 a.m. Angelia Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home," the statement, which was posted on Twitter, read. "She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and the closest friends. YOU, (her fans) were some of the most special people in the world, and she loved you immensely. Thank you for your love, prayers, and unconditional support of Angela right to the very end."
Big Ang's rep, Jennifer Graziano, released a statement on behalf of the family, too. "I am saddened to say that At 3:01 am Ang lost her battle with cancer. She passed peacefully surrounded by friends and family. My heart is broken for her whole family - especially her children and grandchildren and I will never forget her. Her presence brought sheer happiness to anyone that was around her and I am honored to have called her a friend. Please respect her family's privacy at this time as they mourn the loss of such an amazing woman."
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