Everyone deals with death in the their own way. My view of attending a funeral or memorial service is *not* for the deceased, but a way of showing support for the immediate family and those who knew the deceased best. Even then, just seeing pictures and hearing people talk about a person I may have not know so well will cause my eyes to leak.
IMO, I would rather a person throw a big get together for me while I'm alive to enjoy, not spend a fortune when I'm gone and not meaningful to me.
I have mixed feelings about funerals/memorials. I think the funeral homes charge way too much. It seems rather crass to buy a casket with beautiful finished wood, silky pretty this and that when a pinebox would do. I'd rather have a big fancy comfortable bed to enjoy while I'm alive and appreciating it. Once passing from this life, my body is mere useless flesh (though I have made my intentions of organ donation clear to family).
Expectations? Did you know the family at all? If not, they may not notice whether you are there are not, though just being there as a moral supporter if you had a few hours of time on the day of the service would be the kosher thing to do, but certainly not a necessary expectation.