To meditate on death, we contemplate that our death is certain and that the time of our death is uncertain. We then need to understand that at the time of death and after death only spiritual practice can help us.
A White Lotus symbolizes Bodhi (Sanskrit for enlightenment). It symbolizes a pure body, mind and spirit, along with spiritual perfection and a pacification of one's nature. A lotus flower normally has eight petals, which corresponds to the Eightfold Path