Cindy Herrett always had a feeling something bad would happen to her son.
And when police arrived at her home at 2am on Tuesday she was given the worst possible news - he had been killed, hit by a train as he crossed Lincoln Rd.
Yesterday, Mrs Herrett spoke of her wayward son, Murray Miller, who had a lifetime of difficulties but always had "a big heart."
Mr Miller lived a different lifestyle to most. He had been on the street for about 10 years, and yesterday he was due to appear in the district court to face a charge of intent to injure and unlawfully being in a yard.
But when his case was called, his lawyer Gilbert Hay said he could not proceed because his client had not turned up. The police stepped in to say that Mr Miller had died.
In his 26 years, Mr Miller faced just about every problem life could throw at him.
As a baby he regularly stopped breathing, sometimes for 20 minutes at a time, and was given electroshock therapy in hospital, said Mrs Herrett.
"That did make a difference I think to his mental state," she said.
He was severely bullied at school and a genetic abnormality saw him grow to close to 2m.
"For a lot of people he looked quite geeky and a lot of people misjudged him which I think is quite sad," said Mrs Herrett.
"I used to say he was my geeky boy. He was lovely. We were mates for life and really, really close."
When Mr Miller was seven his father committed suicide and at the age of 14 he was put into social welfare care.
Mrs Herrett said: "Murray was ADHD and he was full on and he needed help... I tried to hang on as long as I could but things were just getting out of control."
His grandparents tried to help him and took him out of social welfare care. But it didn't work and he took to the streets.
"He loved Christchurch, even after the quakes hit. He was in the movie When a City Falls. He's the one right in the middle who tells the cop to f*** off. He was right outside the Cathedral, and he saw some pretty horrific things."
Mrs Herrett said: "I've been worried for years for his safety. He's been on the streets and sometimes I didn't know where my son was."
Her other child, daughter Maree, 27, lives in Australia with her baby daughter Ava.
"I've had my first grandchild, she was born July last year and Murray was supposed to meet her next month. She was coming over next month."
As Mr Miller grew older he "got better", keeping in contact with Mrs Herrett or his grandparents.
"Family was very important to him. Even though I put him into care he knew that it was all for the best and he never held it against me, he always said: 'That's just the way it was'."
Mrs Herrett said her son had never been in any serious trouble with the law. "Every policeman knew who he was. He did naughty things like ripping off the odd pushbike but nothing major, it was all just silly."
Mrs Herrett received the news she'd always feared when the police came to call during the early hours of Tuesday morning.
"They said: 'He's been hit by a train' and I just thought: 'Oh, I could just imagine something dumb happening to Murray one day'. I really did think think he'd get hit by a car or a train because he really didn't look crossing the road."
Mrs Herrett said: "My first thought was 'And then there were two.' That was the first thought that came into my head, because I'd lost my husband and son. And then my second thought was: 'Oh my god, Cherie'."
The hardest moment this week for Mrs Herrett was telling Mr Miller's girlfriend, Cherie Dodge, that he had died.
"Murray had been so wayward and since he'd been with her he'd been so much better. I knew they loved each other and I knew that they were really close. I've lost my husband, I knew what it was going to be like," she said.
Mrs Herrett said her son had been drinking at Miss Dodge's flat with a new friend the night he died.
"He had met him the day before in the car park. He said he was hanging out at Cherie's before going into town and did he want to come.
"He'd known him half an hour."
Mrs Herrett said her son just did not see the train as he and his companion walked across the tracks on Lincoln Rd.
"He was definitely not over-intoxicated. He had just had a couple and he was merry."
All Mrs Herrett now has to remember her son by are a toy skateboard, a rock, and a green backpack which he carried his worldly belongings in.
"That's all he had in life," she said.
Mrs Herrett said her son always had a big heart.
She said: "He's the most caring person I've ever come across. Murray said to me once: 'If everyone was the same Mum, how would we know who was who?' and he saw the good in everybody, absolutely everybody."
As a child Mr Miller would visit his ill grandfather, biking from St Martins to The Princess Margaret Hospital.
"My father died early of Alzheimer's disease, he was in the acute unit at PMH and you see some pretty horrific things there. And he was the only grandchild [who would visit]. He was about 10 or 11 then and he used to bike there by himself and go into the acute unit. There was a big guy, Al, who would smack him round the head every time he got a chance. Murray would duck and dive to sit with my father who was frothing at the mouth and strapped to a chair."
She said: "Murray could see past the mental patients when he went to visit Dad, he loved everyone. He'd go into the home and visit my grandmother and he'd talk to all the other oldies in there as well, just a big heart."
A bunch of sunflowers on Mrs Herrett's coffee table, sent by her brother, were a reminder of another of Mr Miller's loves.
"Murray loved sunflowers. I can remember when he was a little boy and we first came back to Christchurch all he wanted to do was grow sunflowers and hollyhocks. We saw these hollyhocks and he couldn't believe how tall they were and he wanted to grow the tallest plant."