Meghan King Edmonds tells PEOPLE Now she had a positive relationship with LeAnn Edmonds Horton, who died last week

By Aurelie Corinthios
July 27, 2015 01:30 PM

Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Meghan King Edmonds made a sweet gesture to honor her husband Jim’s late ex-wife LeAnn, who died last week.

The newest and youngest RHOC housewife dyed her hair bright pink to pay tribute to LeAnn, who died after losing her battle to cancer.

“Life is short. My stepdaughter’s mom just recently died less than a week ago,” the Bravo star tells PEOPLE Now of the decision behind the color change. “And I was just thinking, you know what, I want to do something fun – and life is short, so why not? I did it.”

King Edmonds, 30, is stepmother to LeAnn and Jim’s daughter Hayley, 17. As for how the family is handling the loss, Meghan says there are a lot of “ups and downs.”

“Everybody is kind of grieving in their own way and at their own time and their own schedule,” she says. “You know, everybody is smiling when we can, but there’s a lot of sadness.”

With LeAnn gone, King Edmonds – who is 13 years old than Hayley – says she is struggling to find her place as a stepparent.

“It’s extremely difficult,” she says. “Because I am trying to find out whether or not I’m the disciplinarian, or am I the friend, or am I the stepmom, or where do I stand?”

“It was so great when I had LeAnn as my teammate because we could bounce things off of each other. And literally the other day I had an idea, and I reached down to grab my phone and text LeAnn, and you know, I can’t do that anymore,” she adds. “I’m really trying to navigate what to do – I really don’t know what to do.”

For now, she plans to do her best to be there for Hayley.

“I’ll be there for her when she needs me,” she says. “When I’m gone she knows that I’m out of sight – but she can always come back and find me.

The RHOC star has already made headlines for her unfiltered opinions on the show, notably her tense relationship with Shannon Beador.

“You know what, our relationship evolves throughout the season, and we were in a really good place when the season ended,” she says of the current status between the two. “Shannon likes me. She just doesn’t think she likes me right now because she’s highly emotional watching these things, but she likes me.”

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.