Chatwin wasn't above inventing himself, for that matter. He died of AIDS, when he was 48, but he concealed the fact of his illness, and told conflicting stories about it. One could imagine AIDS was simply too generic. He said, for instance, that he'd contracted some weird fungal infection in the wilds of Africa, unknown to modern medicine, or that he was bitten by a Chinese bat.
The larger point is that we deserve some privacy, at the end of our lives. Dying is a lonely enough