Mob Wives star Angela Big Ang Raiola died on February 18 after a year-long battle with lung and brain cancer. In the months leading up to her death, she put up a wall and decided she wanted nothing to do with husband Neil Murphy so she could focus on herself without outside stress and drama. Even though she didn’t want Murphy around, he defied her wishes and was present during every hospital visit and procedure until the day she passed away.
“I was there at the end. I never left her side. I went to every procedure — even though she didn’t want me, I went. I was there at the hospital for the last two days with her. I mean, to me, we weren’t ‘estranged.”
Neil spoke to Entertainment Tonight and cleared the estranged rumors and why he couldn’t leave her side, even though she wanted to be left alone. In her final days, Murphy explained that Angela wasn’t scared to die–she just wanted to go home and be free of any pain and suffering. Angela never lost her sense of humor and worked until the very end.
Neil loved Angela very much and we are so glad he got to clear the air and reveal the truth!— Angela Raiola (@biggangVH1) March 10, 2016
Neil said that he didn’t want to argue with Big Ang because her doctors told her that any stress could cause her cancer to spread more quickly. Murphy said he’d do anything to keep Ang as healthy as possible. Neil said they’d talk before and after chemo sessions. She was not alone, and she knew that he loved her.
“She didn’t want me there, I didn’t want to argue with a sick person. I was on the phone with her every day. I talked to her before chemo, after chemo. When she had a couple of procedures done, she was in the hospital for a day, I was there. So, I wouldn’t call it estranged. It was just, you know, she was going through a rough time and she, I guess, took it out on me. And I wasn’t going to fight with her. I didn’t walk away [or]…left her. I was there.”
According to Radar Online, Murphy stated that they had an average marriage and had ups and downs. Big Ang was the rock in their relationship, and when she found out she had cancer, she fell apart. Ang needed Neil to be strong for her, but it was never enough for her. She fell apart because she couldn’t fix what was wrong with her. Raiola saw her life slipping away, and it terrified her.
Neil talked about his last moment with her just days before she died on February 18. He tried his best to make her comfortable; however, the pain was increasing making it difficult for her not to experience an enormous of pain.
“I was lying in bed with her the day before, but she was kind of out of it. I was trying to calm her down, so I was just rubbing her back for like an hour trying to put her to sleep. That was the last time we spent together.”
Murphy said the thing [he] misses most about his wife is the way she’d keep her in line. He noted she would yell at him about everything, and if he could, he would do anything to hear he scream at him again. Even though their life was crazy, Neil wouldn’t change anything. Loving Angela was something he would never regret or change.
Just two weeks before she died, her newest grandchild was born, and Big Ang was there to hold her and love her. Her daughter, Raquel Scotto, explains that her baby was three weeks early, and if she had been born on her due date, Raiola wouldn’t have held her granddaughter. Scotto explains that at the time, they didn’t know that her condition was deteriorating so quickly–Raquel said she refused to believe that her mother’s time was limited.
“Thank God. I’m just blessed for that alone. It was nice. I didn’t think what happened to my mother was going to happen, so you know, I wasn’t even thinking along those lines.”
Raquel said that her kids help her through the rough times and sees her mother in her children. She laughed and stated that her son acts exactly like Big Ang, and it is helping her move on. Neil explained that Raquel has adjusted easier to life without Raiola than him– he explained he feels a great sense of emptiness and loss. With time, he’s hoping that he can move on.
Big Ang may be gone, but she will never be forgotten by her loved ones and fans. To keep her memory alive, fans should try their best to live life to the fullest and not hold a grudge against anyone- live life just as Big Ang did. Tell The Inquistr your favorite Big Ang moment in the comments section below.
[Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company]