You're right, it is about removing your words, no matter how much you like them, if it doesn't fit the story.
And despite the fact that the discussion is basically over, I thought I'd add my own perspective. For me, killing characters off is all about the tone and themes of the story. If I were wanting to create a feeling of randomness and danger, I might kill off characters and pay no attention to whether that character's personal issues were dealt with. The important thing would be that people are convinced that death could strike anywhere for any reason.
If the focus of the story were on following characters through a terrible experience, and seeing how they change as a result, I might not kill off anybody even if the story were set during a war. If I did kill someone off, it would be to make all the other characters respond to that. Alternately, I might do it at a thematically important moment where the character's death will drive home a point.
My general mode of operations is that "dead means dead" (no resurrections), so if I'm going to do it, I want it to mean something.