A study out today found that few Britons know about their partners' end-of-life wishes because we still find it difficult to talk about death.
We have more insight, however, when it comes to the dying thoughts, desires and regrets of famous people.
These are fascinating, not only in the way in which they are expressed, but also the degree to which they vary. While some people are eternal optimists ("I've had a hell of a lot of fun" - Errol Flynn), others look ahead to their legacy ("Fancy being remembered around the world for the invention of a mouse" - Walt Disney) and still more voice bitterness or regrets ("Every damn fool thing you do in this life you pay for" - Edith Piaf).
Come take a look at some of the fears, hopes and dreams of famous people on their deathbeds:
Photos: Rex Features
Humphrey Bogart (1899 - 1957)
"I should never have switched from Scotch to martinis."
Edith Piaf (1915 - 1963)
"Every damn fool thing you do in this life you pay for."
Economist John Maynard Keynes (1883 - 1946)
"I wish I'd drunk more champagne."
Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954)
"I hope the exit is joyful and hope never to come back."
Errol Flynn (1909 - 1959)
"I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it."
Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941)
"I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been."
[From a suicide note to her husband Leonard]
Kurt Cobain (1967 - 1994)
"It's better to burn out than to fade away. Peace, love, empathy."
Walt Disney (1901 - 1966)
"Fancy being remembered around the world for the invention of a mouse."
Edith Cavell (1865 - 1915)
"Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."
[Edith Cavell was a British nurse executed for treason by Germany during World War I)
Bob Marley (1945 - 1981)
"Money can't buy life."
Charlotte Bronte (1816 - 1855)
"Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy."
[To her husband of nine months]
Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)
"I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
"My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go."
Queen Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603)
"All my possessions for a moment of time."
Che Guevara (1928 - 1967)
"I know you have come to kill me. Shoot, coward! You are only going to kill a man."