I am within the 12 months of aveilus for my mother A”H. Last night as I was about to go up to the amud someone who nebuch just lost his daughter was already there getting ready to daven. I told my chavrusa that he’s in shloshim so it’s fine. He told me that an aval for a parent has kadima over other aveilim. I don’t know whether that is the case or not, but I told my chavrusa that I did not want to inflict any pain on this man who is already suffering from his loss by telling him that I had kadima over him. My question is do I have to go out of my way to go to another minyan? A couple weeks ago I had a similar situation. Someone in shul got up to daven for his father-in-law’s yahrtzeit for shachris. The rabbi didn’t say anything to stop him and I wasn’t in a position to do anything about it. In general, how crazy to I have to be about making sure that I daven for the amud (or in a minyan with another avel davening)? I live an hour a way from where I work and I often get home on the late side. In my town there’s only 1 minyan every half hour or so. I seem to have the bad luck to get to the shul within seconds of a bachur chapping the amud before I have a chance to walk in the door. I am usually already tired and do not really want to wait around for another half hour or to go home and come back. Just being in aveilus is already so difficult. What is expected of me in this regard?
While it is customary to be the Shaliach Tzibbur when possible during the year of Aveilus, this is in fact not an obligation. Your obligation is to ensure that you say Kaddish every day. So when there is a question of a dispute over the amud or other difficulty, you can and often should give the amud to another. Doing kindness and making peace is also a great merit for the soul of the niftar.