A lot of atheists maintain that we create our own meaning. Famous people such as Neil Degrass Tyson and Richard Dawkins have said as much, but for someone prone to existential crisis I’m not sure that helps.
When people ask what the meaning of life is, they are usually asking an objective value based question. Phrased better: what is the meaning of life, ultimately? But, there are no good answers to these types of questions. Look at some other value based questions. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do people have to die? Why does everything change? Why do people and animals suffer? There just simply aren’t answers to these questions.
At this point, a theist usually balks. These, to them, are important questions requiring an answer, and the theist is likely to point to their particular religion for the answers. However, not every question or every sentence is logical. At this point, perhaps my math background helps. Take a look at this sentence: this statement is false. If it’s true, then the statement is false. This is a logical contradiction. If it’s false, then the statement is still false. If it is true, it false, and if it’s false, it is false. (Here is an article in case you are confused.) The statement cannot be true or false.
We are humans. We are used to human agents doing thins for reasons, but the universe and life events don’t work that way. If there is no human-like being running the show, it is very unlikely that objective value based questions have answers.There just aren’t. Now, I’m sorry, if this bothers people, but that’s the way the world is as far as I can tell.
Even I, would like to have answers. There is something deeply satisfying about having answers, but there aren’t always answers. I know how it can feel to lose a loved one at a young age, and it is hard not ask why. My advice? Just don’t ask these types of questions. Things like death and suffering are just natural parts of life, and it’s time we just accept that.