20th century Funerals

A White Coffin

June 8, 2018

A photograph of a horse-drawn hearse carrying a white coffin on a snowy country road. The photograph dates from approximately the 1920’s, and has most likely been taken in Finland. The photographer and more exact location are unknown.

Someone has scribbled a few words in Finnish behind the photograph with a blue pencil:

The words are somewhat difficult to read because of the handwriting and strange way of spelling words, but here is what I think it says:

“Tyhjä on nyt paikka sinun
koti kuusten tanhuvilla
Täytetty paikka siellä para-
tiisis siijonin karu etsä (?)
vaivojasi olet onnenpekka (?)
vaikka etsä
<???> tämän
maailman loistohon

Valko kirstu puhuu
sinun nuoruurressa
kuollehen kypsä olit
lähtemään joukkoon
herran kiittäjäin siellä
niität kylvöästäsi herel-
mätä jumalan”

The first part was more difficult to read. One word remains illegible, so the whole message is somewhat unclear. It does speak of an empty place the deceased left behind and how whoever wrote this thought that the deceased was a lucky person, even though… and here is the illegible word. Even though they couldn’t stay in the “brilliance of this world” would fill the gap in a way that makes sense, but I really do not know.

The second part is much clearer: “The white coffin speaks / yours, who died young / you were ready to join / those who thank the lord / there you’ll be reaping your sow / the fruits of god.”

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