Mob Wives star Angela “Big Ang” Raiola’s memorial services were not short of drama. Allegedly, Big Ang’s family told Karen Gravano and Brittany Fogarty that it would be best if they skipped out on the memorial services for Raiola due to the complex family ties. Karen and Brittany tried to honor the family’s wishes, however, Gravano felt compelled to attend her funeral services to say goodbye to her beautiful friend.
Karen told Radar Online that she didn’t attend the other services (a disco-themed wake) because she was too sad about her passing to venture out in the public eye. Gravano denies that she was asked not to attend the services, stating that if she was, she would attend anyway because she wanted to say goodbye to Raiola.
Rest in Paradise Ang you are truly loved & Will be forever missed.. Blessed to have been able to call you a friend ???? pic.twitter.com/92GM1ZRZR6
— Karen Gravano (@KarenGravanoVH1) February 22, 2016
Gravano explained that she didn’t attend the second wake for Big Ang because the media had revealed the family didn’t want her and Brittany to attend the service. Karen stated that she didn’t go because she didn’t want it to be about the drama between her and Ang’s family. Instead, she hoped the wake would be all about Big Ang and the love she radiated to all who knew her.
Apparently, there were people who attended Angela’s services who knew Karen’s father and had a history with him decades ago. She didn’t want the wake to turn into a family feud because, as Mob Wives fans have witnessed, Karen will always stand up for her father. Karen said that she wanted to respect Angela’s family and attend the service that felt right to her. As she stated over and over the past few days, the right time for her was the funeral services on Monday.
— Lindsey DiMattina (@LDimat) February 24, 2016
Gravano has spoken at length over the past few days about Angela’s last few days and her battle with cancer. Karen was present at the hospital when Raiola drew her last breath and succumbed to stage 4 brain and lung cancer. Karen stated that she doesn’t pay the media and rumors any attention because, in her heart, she knew that her friendship with Big Ang was genuine, and Raiola knew when she passed away that Karen loved her.
Karen has been vocal the past week about Big Ang and what her friendship meant to her. According to Page Six, Brittany Fogarty was excluded from the memorial services because of the bad blood between the families. Fogarty felt upset that she wasn’t given the chance to say goodbye to Big Ang; however, explained that she will go to her grave site, and pay her respects and tell her goodbye in her own way.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 22, 2016
Karen explained to E! Online that she was never banned from attending the funeral and wake per se. Instead, the family wanted to make sure she attended in a time that would cause the least amount of drama from other family members, due to the history Angela’s family shared with Karen Gravano’s father decades prior.
Gravano explained why it was important for her to attend Angela’s funeral services.
“My situation isn’t about my father, it isn’t about anyone else. It’s about paying respects to my friend. I wanted to say my goodbyes to Ang and pay respect to her and her family and an army couldn’t stop me. I was just happy to be there. Let people believe what they want to believe. I was there and I walked out holding her casket.”
Karen explained that Big Ang’s death has been hard on everyone who knew her. Angela wouldn’t want any of her family to be sad about her passing, but living without Raiola has proven difficult. Big Ang wanted them to celebrate her life and remember her good times, and she hoped they wouldn’t remember her year-long battle with cancer. Karen Gravano explained that she is trying the best she can to cope with losing a dear friend, but she misses Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola dearly.
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