"It's very painful to sit at a table and see an empty spot and we will have to live with that for the rest of our lives and the thought that she may be able to go home and enjoy the holiday with her family is painful," said Leeann Magee, Eric's sister.
A grand jury indicted Miller-Kontz in September on the murder charge. For Verus and Doris Miller, Eric's parents, the case is not about their former daughter-in-law, it is about their son.
"In trials like this, the victim kind of gets lost after a while. I'm going to be down here representing him, so he doesn't get lost," Verus Miller said.
"We're going to miss a lot of years with him, a lot of holidays, a lot of special times. Everything is different now. It's not the same," Doris Miller said.
Since Eric's death, the Millers have received dozens of letters from those he touched.
"Eric had a contagious smile and laugh. He was basically a very happy giving, loving person," Magee said.
"You can never replace that child. You will always have a hole in your heart," Doris said. "You'll always miss them every day of your life until you breathe your last breath."
Eric and Ann Miller had a daughter together, Clare. Eric's parents have continued their relationship with their granddaughter despite tension between the families.
The bond hearing is set for 10 a.m. Friday in Wake County Superior Court. You can watch it live on WRAL NewsChannel on digital cable channel 256 or over the air 5.2.