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Wat een uitvaart tot goed theater maakt

Posted on 22 August, 2019 at 13:05

Horen, zien en zwijgen, spreken, ruiken en bewegen: een beetje uitvaart heeft het allemaal! 


Horen of luisteren, dat lijkt vanzelfsprekend bij iedere uitvaart. Als er al geen sprekers zijn, omdat mensen dat niet kunnen of willen, dan is er meestal op zijn minst muziek. Als de hoorders geluk hebben wordt er gezegd waarom ze naar iets gaan luisteren. En met nog meer geluk wordt er live muziek gemaakt, door kleinkinderen of ingehuurde musici, of een rouw- en trouwkoor als de uitvaart in een kerk plaatsvindt. Meestal is zwijgend luisteren de bedoeling, soms is fijn dat er meegezongen mag worden.


Als de uitvaart plaatsvindt in een kerk met een meer liturgische traditie, zoals de katholieke, lutherse of anglicaanse, zit ook het spreken-met-antwoorden ingebakken, net zoals opstaan en zitten en eventueel knielen. Opstaan bij het binnenkomen van de kist in de ruimte waar de plechtigheid plaatsvindt, is inmiddels wel gemeengoed bij iedere uitvaart. Dat is ook zo bij het gaan staan als laatste eerbetoon aan de overledene bij het verlaten van die ruimte. En hetzelfde geldt voor het leggen van bloemen op of voor de kist, het lopen naar de begraafplaats of ovenruimte, het oplaten van ballonnen of het gooien van een schepje zand op de kist – de meeste uitvaarten zijn allesbehalve statisch! Surinaamse uitvaarten bijvoorbeeld, waarbij de hele stoet zich zingend en swingend richting graf begeeft spannen waarschijnlijk de kroon. Een jonge draagster van een jaar of twintig zei onlangs, kijkend naar zo’n stoet, ‘Ik voel me zó stijfjes als ik hier naar kijk”.


Vaak valt er ook veel te zien. Maar dat is niet altijd even gemakkelijk om aan te zien: van prachtige bloemen tot scheef staande kaarsen; van sprekers die zich in hun mooiste nette kleding niet op hun gemak voelen, tot mensen die vol schieten zodat niemand meer kan verstaan wat ze eigenlijk hadden willen zeggen; van laatkomers die alle aandacht trekken, waardoor mensen om gaan zitten kijken, tot vooral de PowerPoint-presentaties met foto’s uit het leven van de overledene: soms ontroerend, maar vaak afleidend van wat gezegd wordt wanneer de presentatie doorloopt tijdens de bijdrage van een ander. 


Bloemen, geurkaarsen of eventueel wierook maken dat meer zintuigen betrokken raken. 


Maar wat maakt nu zo’n al dan niet interactief theaterstuk tot góed theater? Tot een ervaring waar je nog vaak aan terugdenkt omdat het wat met je deed? Want dat is bij een uitvaart niet anders dan bij een toneelstuk.


Om te beginnen dat er afwisseling is van huilen en lachen, horen en meedoen (zoals zingen, musiceren of een In Memoriam uitspreken), en stilzitten en staan of bewegen; Dat de ‘voorstelling’ één geheel is, omdat alles verband met elkaar houdt en vloeiend in elkaar overloopt, en letterlijk iets voorstelt als herinnering aan die persoon; Maar vooral dat het troost biedt, omdat de overledene wordt neergezet zoals hij was, met zijn lek en gebrek, met zijn leuke en grappige kanten en waarbij het hele leven van diegene wordt meegenomen, niet alleen een ziekbed. Waarbij bovendien verteld wordt waar diegene zich aan optrok, en van wie en wat gehouden werd, óók als dat de meest idiote dingen waren. Laat de Zangeres zonder Naam vooral maar horen, als er maar met een knipoog bij gezegd wordt dat het echt voor de allerlaatste keer is.


En als tot slot iets gezegd wordt van wat de overledene betekend heeft, voor zijn werk en verenigingsleven en met name voor zijn naasten, dan is een verdrietig afscheid tegelijkertijd ongelooflijk troostend voor de achterblijvers, zodat ze het leven weer tegemoet kunnen zien. Zodat in ieder geval de mogelijkheid open staat om ‘gezond te rouwen’ - gezond in de zin van met vallen en opstaan op termijn het leven weer aankunnen. Degenen die iets verder af staan worden daar óók in meegenomen, omdat ze bij zichzelf ander verdriet herkennen dat hierdoor aangeraakt wordt. Want dàt is wat goed theater doet, dat het uiteindelijk ook over jouzelf gaat.


Dat alles kan bovendien alleen gebeuren als door de uitvaartondernemer alles tot in de puntjes geregeld is, van logistiek tot voldoende zitplaatsen, van ieders dringende wensen tot de catering. Het lijkt misschien onbelangrijk, maar het zijn wel de randvoorwaarden om goed afscheid te kunnen nemen. Het belangrijkste punt is dat er veel ruimte is om geraakt te kunnen worden door wat je hoort en ziet, kortom door alles wat er gebeurt, en dat daardoor het rouwproces op gang komt. Dat dit helend en troostend is lijkt me evident. 

Horen, zien en zwijgen, spreken, ruiken en bewegen: een beetje uitvaart heeft het allemaal!

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