The actress and comedian's mother Roma passed away in March, a few days after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her father committed suicide when she was 19 years old.
She explained that she is "grateful" for the way in which her mother handled her final days in such a positive manner.
"You can't watch somebody die and not think about your own mortality," she told The Mirror.
"But I would hope to be totally optimistic about my own death. That's why I am grateful for the example shown to me by my mum."
She added: "I remember one day coming back from a hospital test which was not good and mum said, 'Well it's a win-win situation'.
"I replied, 'And how do you see that?' and she said, 'Well, either I stay here with you guys or I go and see your dad'. And that is what she 100% believed."
Dawn French began dating charity boss Mark Bignell after her mother introduced them after co-founding a charity with him.
She recently stated that Bignell had never seen her on TV before they started a relationship.