A source close to Brown tells Us that Tamburello swept into his longtime love's hospital room at NYU Langone Medical Center, where he got down on bended knee and presented her with a ruby ring — as well as a GoPro video camera.
"He proposed and filmed the entire thing," the friend tells Us. "Diem joked that she hated rubies and said no."
The unrelenting Tamburello then returned the following day with a new ring and proposed again. Brown, 34, still remained resolute in her decision. "Diem knew she didn't have much longer to live," the insider tells Us, "and she didn't want to be engaged under those circumstances."
Brown's final response was a bittersweet end to their roller-coaster romance, which began when they met and fell in love on the 13th season of The Challenge in 2006. "Diem and CT had a complicated relationship," Brown's best friend Alicia Quarles tells Us. "Maybe all of her friends didn't understand it. I know they had a lot of love for each other...They were on and off for so many years. If she had more time on this earth, who knows what would have happened between them?"
Indeed, the two fought, broke up, kissed, and made up as witnessed by millions of fans worldwide. Meanwhile, Brown battled cancer in 2006, 2012, and again in 2014. Despite their rocky relationship, Brown told Us in 2013 that she and Tamburello had "a lot of love for each other."
A broken Tamburello took to his Instagram last Friday, the day after Brown's funeral, to express his love for his late on-again, off-again girlfriend. Watch the moving memorial video for Brown.
You have always been My Angel. And now you have your wings. We've been thru so much over the years. Thru the ups and downs we somehow managed to keep our promise. We never gave up on each other. Our plan to be together forever hasn't changed... it's just going to take a little longer now. And I'm going to hold onto this ring for you till we are together again. So don't worry mama, I'm not afraid. I know you will always be with me to give me your strength. You are The Love of My Life. My reason to be a better man. I Love You Always and Forever
"You have always been My Angel," Tamburello, 34, wrote alongside a photo of Brown, tucked beside a rosary and a ring. "And now you have your wings. We've been thru so much over the years. Thru the ups and downs we somehow managed to keep our promise. We never gave up on each other. Our plan to be together forever hasn't changed...it's just going to take a little longer now." He added of Brown: "You are The Love of My Life. My reason to be a better man. I Love You Always and Forever."
For more details on CT's final moments with Brown, in addition to her last days, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.