I went with my daughter to the funeral of a friend today. She's known him years through the greyhounds. He was often referred to as the greyhound man as over the years he had adopted 35 retired greyhounds. At one time he actually had 5 old boys as he called them. He always took the old dogs that nobody else wanted, mainly boys but also one or two girls.
He was brilliant with dogs but sadly not so good with people as he was so independent and rigid in his views. So he pushed people away and several times he fell out with DD as she wouldn't agree with him but I'm proud that she never held a grudge and could also see his good points. As he got so sick he realised that we all need other people and he became more patient.
He made his peace with his estranged daughter and in spite of past differences she arranged a funeral to do him proud. She wrote and read a beautiful poem. The neighbour who had known him since their teens gave a tribute and the celebrant read out a piece my daughter had written. Also at the end a humorous email which the deceased had sent to my daughter some while ago was read out. One thing happened which I have never seen before at a funeral. One old lady turned up with a greyhound and said there had to be a greyhound at this funeral but she would just wait for the hearse to arrive and then she would go. During the service, the celebrant talking about the greyhounds mentioned how good that one was present. We all looked round and sure enough there in the back row was the old lady and the greyhound!
One thing in common at both the recent funerals I went to was that although they were non-religious, the Lord's prayer was said. I've not been to many non-religious funerals so maybe it was a coincidence but it seems that even non-believers have a spiritual side.
DD has inherited the last remaining old dog so he has settled in happily here.