Mob Wives Stars Share Their Favorite Memories of Big Ang: 'Her Smile, It Just Was Contagious'

03/08/2016 AT 11:10 AM EST

Angela "Big Ang" Raiola was larger than life, and that's how her friends will always remember her.

A few Mob Wives cast members stopped by PEOPLE Now to commemorate the late VH1 star, sharing their favorite memories of Raiola, who died Feb. 18 after battling stage 4 lung and brain cancer. She was 55.

"Her smile, it just was contagious," Renee Graziano said. "When she smiled, you felt it from the heart."

For Karen Gravano, it was Raiola's ability to put things in perspective.



"Season 5, I think she told me like, 5000 times, 'Get over it, get over it, get over it,' " Gravano said. "For her, she never really wanted to be caught up in the drama so everything in life [was] like, "Get over it, it's not that serious.' "

"She always wanted to have fun, and party," Carla Facciolo added. "She didn't want to hear nothing, it was just like, 'Let's get whacked, let's have a drink and let's move along!' "

As for their reaction when they found out Raiola had been diagnosed with cancer, Graziano said it was "just heart-wrenching."

"It was a roller coaster," Gravano added. "First we found out that she had it in the throat, then it went away, then it came back in her lung, then it went away, she was cancer-free ... then it came back so aggressive."

Indeed, Raiola's heartbreaking battle has been chronicled on this season of Mob Wives: On last week's episode, the star celebrated being cancer-free months before her tragic death.

But at the end of the day, it's Raiola's relentless positivity that will be remembered: "Even when she first told us [she was sick], it was like: 'Yeah, I have cancer, but don't worry, let's go have a drink!' " Gravano recalled. "One thing about Ang was she always made sure everybody else was okay around her."

The Mob Wives series finale airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on VH1, followed by a special tribute for Raiola, Big Ang, at 9 p.m. ET.
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