As active search ends, grief expert says 'try to stay present in the moment'

Rachel Weinstein says this scenario makes it hard for loved ones to grieve

Emotions running high as Coast Guard end the search for the two missing firefighters.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Emotions are high now that the Coast Guard has suspended the active search for two firefighters lost at sea. 

After searching more than 146,368 square miles, the Coast Guard said Thursday that crews were unable to locate Jacksonville firefighter Brian McCluney and Virginia firefighter Justin Walker.

Grief expert Rachel Weinstein said this scenario makes it hard for loved ones to grieve considering no one knows what happened to the two men.

WATCH: How to cope with grief with no closure

"The more sudden the loss, the more delayed a reaction. Right now, there's so much activity. There is so much happening in the way of the search and so much emotion around it that numbness would be a really appropriate and normal reaction," Weinstein said.

With so many unanswered questions, Weinstein said it's best to stay present.

"What I like to say is to be in the moment and respect to what you know right now and what you can control right now. The only thing that we can ever control is our own response or something, and so each of the family members should simply be in a place to be in on what brings them comfort," Weinstein said. "Just to simply be where they are and not ahead."

The wives of the missing firefighters have been leaning on their faith. Weinstein suggests leaning onto what brings happiness. 

"When it comes to, literally, how to cope, try the best that you can to be in the present moment," she said. "Whether it's your faith, whether it's friends or other family members, get those kinds of support wherever you can find them, and try to stay present in the moment."

Weinstein said everyone grieves differently and everyone copes with grief in a unique way.