After I set up my server in my local LAN, which is set to Survival and Normal, all my inventory was gone upon death. I don't mind annoyances of dying, but I am bothered that everything in my inventory is gone. If you have admin rights to your server, you can change that.
Open the server console - either on the machine itself or in-game - and type
gamerule keepInventory true
Has immediate effect. No need to restart the server. Much happier with this.