Thank you, K, for expressing the view of the Orthodox Church. Now that you can read the writings of he Early Church Fathers and the supporting Scriptural passages, what is your position? And I repeat to you the same admonition made to ConservativeMind - ask our Lord to open your mind and heart to His words.
My position is the position of the consensus patrum and The Church. There is nothing we can do for ourselves to affect the outcome of either the Particular nor the Final Judgment. Unless one attains theosis in this life, a very rare event, our only hope is God's unending mercy, which is what we here on earth pray for when we pray for the dead. Personally, I believe there is likely some sort of burnishing or purification which goes on in the place of the dead and before the Final Judgment. But this is not expiation; it is purification. God's love refines and purifies those who have a similitude to Christ and torments those who have none. The Fathers wrote of God and God's love as being like fire, purifying precious metals and fine pottery, but blackening, even destroying base metals and inferior clay. This personal opinion is in accord with a very ancient thread of theology in The Church.
If I read a broad range of the Fathers, avoiding proof texting the Fathers to fit any particular position, the consensus patrum and thus Holy Tradition becomes clear. In essence, even if I disregard popular notions of what the Latin Church means by purgatory, the distinction between expiation and purification remains.