One of my mother's two remaining sisters finally passed away yesterday. I say "finally" because Viv had been dying by inches for the last couple of years.
In common with many of her day, she started smoking cigarettes around the age of 13. She continued to smoke heavily until the day she could no longer inhale enough breath to be able to take a drag (well into her 70s). That's a lot of nicotine and tar, folks, and the resulting respiratory problems and the final battle with COPD were awful.
Having to fight for every breath you take is a very frightening way to live. I'm glad she no longer bears that terrible burden.