I'm glad to see there are others that feel this fear looming over them.
I've always had a great relationship with my parents... Twice a week, mom and I will have one of our marathon phone coversations that can last a few hours. Dad...well...he's not much of a chatter... He always picks up the phone, and we chat for...say...30 seconds before he passes the phone to mom.
I visit them once a year...and every time they look different...worse...older...
My father had age-related surgery on his shoulder, and they didn't even tell me about it... This kind of thing has become so commonplace for them, that they don't see it as urgent news anymore.
I've been lucky to have not had to deal with the death of anyone close to me. People die all around me, it seems...my landlord was shot in my yard, my boss's boss is dying of cancer (and he still works!), and every few days I tap on my neighbor's window to make sure she didn't die - she's elderly, and I don't want her cats to starve - but she doesn't know that's the reason for my social calls. ...but my parents' deaths would rip me apart!!!
So, just last week, I told my Mom that I had reached a decision... I had decided that she was going to have to stop growing older, and that she was just going to have to deal with it because I'm not taking 'no' for an answer.