Today I'm talking to a woman. We're calling harper. She's in her late twenties and lives in Virginia five years ago. She married her first husband but shortly after he died in a car crash a few years later trying to move on she joined a support group for other young widows. It was facebook group of all things. Young widowed and dating is that it was called through. This group. Harper met the man who would become her second husband a widower with a five year. Old Daughter. The little girl was three when she lost her mom to bring cancer. I think I say this jokingly but it's really serious. There are a lot of people in our relationship. There's you know my dad spouse. There's his dead spouse And then there's the little girl in the middle of it now harper's trying to embrace the role of step mom while also honoring her stepdaughters loss. I think that I always feel so uncertain. I question everything Whether or not I should be the one to tuck her in or whether I should be the one that is disciplining of behavior Or even giving affection like my the one that jumps in when she sad or she falls down Like how much. I don't WanNa overcompensate for me not being her biological mother for me having this new role in her life yet. I also don't want her to feel separate from to you. Know much about her mom. Yeah I've tried really hard to learn about like personality in her quirks and what she didn't didn't like because it means a lot to me to keep her alive. are stepped or my stepdaughter. Gra. Would he know about about this woman that she was fun and joyful That she could be very stubborn but she was always ready to Kind of what? They always say that if she wanted to do something she did it. So whether that was like booking a cruise out of nowhere or like going on a trip to Disneyland like whatever experience it was like she just kind of grabbed a life by the horns and brought the people she loved with her and she just kind of had this infectious happiness at mean. You know I know that. Like no one's perfect memories. We share like the ones who passed on Lake. Gets a little like rose-colored sometimes you. She was not without fault but like I do wonder often if she would be proud or happy that I'm the person who fills this role now Sometimes when I'm you know losing my patience Lake would which she be. Impatient right now is. It is a truly a hard moment owners. Because they don't have this natural maternal bond and that I'm like I feel that I have to fight For that connection and for me to like want this life with her family that she should have never left you know So that's part of the impostor fear. Oh Yeah like I. I am being loved in the way that she is supposed to be being loved and You're filling her shoes and you're not sure if you deserve it. I feel sometimes that in filling her shoes and I I struggled to assert my own personality. Maybe Or that I like things differently. You know they even things like football. I don't enjoy the sport and she made an effort to learn to enjoy it. You know with my husband and they have great memories and I you know. I don't see myself being that gung-ho ever and even little things things like that are enjoying wine you know having a glass of wine at night. I don't likewise makes me tired. But that was the thing that they shared and You know we share different things in. It's it's hard to sometimes figure out what is equality that I would really like to emulate from her mothering. Her her time as a wife and like what is what is my particular stamp Does your husband talk about her ya all the time. And how do you feel when he's talking about her? I think most of the time I'm just kind of there to witness it you know and I'm there to learn I think there may be moments when I fall a little jealous or isn't floors if I was in a shadow and I don't think there's any way that I couldn't But he's had the strength and the emotional ability to sit with me through those things and to give me the space to work on it on my own but I also understand that I do the same thing like I share memories of my first husband and I have surprising moments of grief. That just out of nowhere that he has to sit with me through and How did your relationship with your husband kind of linger in your mind as you were starting? This new relationship is very hard. Especially in a physical sense to Inara to cass or to be more intimate like it was Not that I felt that I was cheating but just the difference. had a filter from I was just so accustomed to his body. Even like a hand my hand on his shoulder. sometimes grab my husband shoulder like grays against him. I expect to feel like the wiry hardness Linke -ness of my first husband's body and then his is completely different. Yeah and it can be shocking. Like sometimes that's devastating to feel the difference in all of a sudden like I'm just thrown into this moment of grief We didn't fall out of love with who we lost Lake. We're still in love with them. And I think that's a hard thing for people understand like we didn't move on. We kind of decided to move forward together.