So I found two issues that I would think are most likely not intentional:
Last night I was playing a character, died, and closed the game instantly. I came back today, and the file was still there and playable. I figured maybe it had something to do with closing the game. So, I just died again on this file, closed the game right away, and when I reloaded it, the character is still playable.
I continued to test it, and right if you die, you can simply close the game, reopen it, and your character will be there as if you just entered the room. It worked when I created a new file type as well. As long as you don't click on "try again" and you just close the game, your file doesn't die!
Another thing that happened was somehow (as when you're dying you generally freak out and move sporadically, so I don't know exactly what happened) one of the times I was about to die I died right on top of a door and then went through it. Then I was alive on the other side. I have not tested it out again yet, but it seems that it could have been caused by a few different things that I will test tomorrow: It could have been that the door was still usable after I had died right on top of it, or it could have been that at some point before dying I tried to use the door, died, and somehow still went through. So anyways, I died on top of a door, somehow went through that door, and then I was alive again. When I'm done work tomorrow I can give it a go and test it out again.