As someone once said, meaning is only a property of voluntary, willful actions.
Being a natural process, life in itself can't have any inherent meaning.
Claiming that "mating" or "death" is life's meaning is also incorrect because it merely describes one of life's properties (often in a teleological way, which is fallacious).
See here why teleology is fallacious: https://www.quora.com/What-is-wrong-with-teleology
So life's properties can't have meaning just as the properties of water can't have meaning.
Meaning can only be ascribed to actions that reflect a will.
So the only way life can be ascribed meaning is through identification with a meaningful action.
Ιn fact, realizing that you "act" by merely perpetuating your existence is enough to ascribe life meaning. A pretty tame one, but meaning still.