Failure does not actually constitute anything in and of itself. Thousands of years ago, humans feared predators because they associated it with death. Today, humans fear getting fired because they associate it with financial instability. It is, therefore, not failure that makes people suffer; it is the things that we have failed. We suffer when a predator catches us because we believe we might die. We suffer when we lose our job because we believe it might lead to financial ruin. Suffering is therefore caused by the actual impacts of our actions, not just by the failure. Failure is too broad of a cause to be the root of suffering because anything can be called failure as long as humans believe it has made them suffer. The logic, therefore, becomes circular.
When a town is bombed, what people think is just excuses and attempts to cover up what actually happened. The mother, for example, will think about parenting as a distraction for her real suffering: the death of her child. It is not her desires that have made her suffer, it is reality. Regardless of what she desired, the fact that her child is dead is suffering in and of itself. A sense of duty or an added layer to the mother’s affection with the child might be a reason why some mothers will suffer more than others, but the precondition for this suffering is still the death of the child. Physical events have to be the root cause of suffering because without the physical event occurring, there is no opportunity for anyone to even reflect on duty and regret their failures. Because all extra suffering stems from the actual event, that must be the meaning of suffering.