I am put in mind of 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living'. Or
"Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die."
-Mary Elizabeth Frye
"That is no country for old men. The young In one another's arms,
birds in the trees, —Those dying generations—at their song, The
salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend
all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and dies."
-Sailing to Byzantium, Yeats
This insight is a kind of trope. Death is not part of life. It is incomprehensible. And as Ernest Becker noted, building on Kierkegaard among others, we practice The Denial of Death.
Because to face it is like this: If everything ends one day why don't we end it today? Which is exactly Camus' point. As an individual, there can be no rational answer. We reach as much by intuition and impulse as reason, for the transpersonal, the transcendental, as though it can salvage that fundamental conundrum. It can salvage meaning for that transpersonal result, the maintenance or furthering of that transcendental theme; but for us ourselves, we are pushing a boulder endlessly up a hill, and it cannot matter to us except exactly as much as we decide in our local mortal way that it mattered, and that mattering to ourself, will inevitably be swept away with our disintegration.
It has been a common theme in wisdom literature and religion to say, well this other kind of self is more real, something persists, or transmigrates. Camus is taking the other tack, and recognising that cannot matter to the thing that ends, and that is the thing that we feel we are, the self we act on the behalf of in how we live ordinarily.
"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises."
-from Ecclesiastes 1-12
This book of the Bible takes the contradiction head on, and points towards "I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works" in a way strikingly similar to Camus of Sisyphus, and talks of simple pleasures in life, harmony with the seasons and opposing oppression. Theologists do a little dance about the repeated phrase 'under the Sun', saying above the mundane world are the transcendental themes. But the message for our mundane finite self muddling through down here is actually the same. The transcendental cannot cure you of the agony of recognising the vain contradiction of thinking reason or outcomes can give our life meaning. It must come from within our life, and it won't be rational (it lists knowledge, wealth, & pleasure as possible justifications for a life, & dismisses them for humbler things).
When we recognise the contradiction in our pursuit of meaning for our life outside our life, we are forced to see a meaningful life to ourself, as more like an artwork than a rational endeavour. Ultimately even the most constrained life, of Sisyphus, can be reunderstood and related to differently, not as a failure to achieve grand aims, but as choosing even without reason, to be happy. Even with the worst materials, we have this much freedom to shape them. This is the liberation of giving up the contradiction embodied in our feeling that ignoring death makes the mathematics of it's inevitable approach any less real or final.
"The meaning and purpose of dancing, is the dance."