Many people with aging parents don't want to face their eventual death, said Rachelle Elias, a licensed marriage and family therapist and grief specialist in Santa Monica. "We believe that, since they've been here all of my life, they're a fixture. They'll always be here.
"Also, the small child part of us sees our parents as a buffer between us and anything bad that might happen. They're sort of a place of refuge, even if it's just in our mind."