That is going to be sad. I think it would be an excellent idea to take some pictures with Reaper. Then depending on what your son is interested in, he could make a scrapbook about her with the photos, perhaps poems he's written, pictures he's drawn, etc. I've found doing something like that helps many kids. He could also do any of those things individually if he doesn't want to do a whole scrapbook. the little one could do the same things if he's interested. If hands-on activities are more his style, a clay sculpture of Reaper might be good. If he likes to do things online, here's a site where he could leave a memorial:http://www.chancesspot.org/
I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but if they fit with it, you may want to share this poem with your kids or put it in a scrapbook:Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
A small celebration of life or funeral service is comforting to some kids. If you have Reaper's body cremated, you could let your son choose an urn. If she's to be buried, he could design a stone. You can use one of the decorative concrete patio blocks sold in home improvement stores.
Donating money to a reptile rescue in Reaper's name and explaining how that is helping other lizards can be a bit of a comfort.
Finally, if he seems to need some counseling from anon-family member, this site offers free pet grief counseling by trained volunteers:http://www.aplb.org/
If your younger son is mostly concerned about his brother, help him make a sympathy card for him.
I agree with you that your son shouldn't see the procedure. I do think it would be appropriate for him to take the next school day off if Reaper's death is affecting him deeply. Not only does that give him a little more time to process his grief, it's an acknowledgment of the importance of an animal's life and of the your son's love for Reaper. Over the years, I've dealt with many kids whose parents sent them to school while they were still grief-stricken, and they simply weren't able to function normally yet. They would have been better off at home.
I hope one or two of these ideas will be useful to you, Gloria. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, and yes, let me know how it goes.