I had a similar experience recently while laying sick in a camper on a friend's hunting lease, and it brought back the memory and other similar memories. Those are some of the most important memories in my life.
It occurred to me that maybe one of the most important things in life is to be loved in this way. We all long for someone to voluntarily sacrifice (part of) his life on our behalf. It makes us feel so good. Maybe it's the thing we, as individuals, desire above all other things.
And if the same benefit is taken from someone else's life, but the voluntary sentiment is gone, everything is changed. If it is not life laid down but taken, then it is slavery. It is murder.
It is a most important thing, but we know so little of it because we have no experience of civilization "in the large." Our parents often had other ideas. Instead of sacrificing their lives for us as would have been suitable to love, they divorced and abandoned us. Spouses too are mostly motivated by the desire to dominate and impose a certain framework on another, to extract benefit from another's sacrifice rather than make sacrifice. It is that to which we have been conditioned. It is that to which they have been conditioned.