I have learned in my research that the vast majority of people who walk away from religion don’t miss it and find numerous ways to live meaningful lives without it—through work, family life, friends, hobbies, art, sex, philosophy, theater, hunting, working on cars, dancing, and so on.
Well, I've done no research, but I have known enough people who have walked away from religion to provisionally confirm it. The only way to understand a faith is to practice it and many who profess a faith often scarcely practice it. There is nothing new about this. As for living a meaningful life, for genuine people of faith, religion is not a means to an end, but the end itself. It is this that the secularist does not understand.